I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet

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We will be closed Thursday, December 19th to Monday, January 6th. Orders placed during this time will be shipped upon our return.

We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season!

I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Vanilla Queen’s Cake

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Much to my surprise and delight, vanilla fan and serious home baker, Sandie Rymal, created a special cake recipe then named it in my honor! I admit, this is a first for me.  It’s a beauty and, although I haven’t yet baked it myself (nor even tasted it as Sandie lives in Oregon and I’m in California), it certainly looks luscious!

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Chocolate Peppermint Meringues

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 A great way to use up leftover egg whites, especially during the holiday season. If you have leftover candy canes or peppermint candies, use them. However, if you are making these cookies during the Christmas season, look for the miniature candy canes. They have the most pink surface area. The color contrasts well with the white of the meringues.

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Exceptional Maple Sugar and Maple Syrup Vanilla Pies

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 I admit I could never imagine Maple Sugar Pie or Maple Syrup Pie. I flat out love pure maple anything, but an entire pie made with maple sugar or syrup and nothing else to offset the sweetness — like pecans for instance — seemed like it would be cloying and a full-out sugar rush. Then a  friend and I drove from Vermont to Quebec City in the early autumn of 2012.  I knew that this would be my best chance to try Maple Sugar  or Maple Syrup Pie. I was ready to convert  —  or not.

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Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Tart

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While this recipe involves some time and dedication, it isn’t difficult. It was inspired by a recipe in Sunset magazine, which I’ve adapted. For instance, the original recipe called for two tablespoons of hazelnut liquor, such as Frangelico. The local liquor store didn’t have any “shooter” bottles and I didn’t want to invest in a large bottle, so I added some extra vanilla extract.

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Rose Red Velvet Cake

Courtesy of Rose Levy Beranbaum, Real Baking With Rose

I long resisted the charms of Rose Red Velvet Cake, believing it to be merely a layer cake tinted red with a bottle of food coloring. But when several people on my blog sang its praises, I decided to investigate it more thoroughly. It turns out that there is more to this cake than its shocking color. This beloved southern cake is traditionally prepared with oil, a mere suspicion of cocoa, and a teaspoon of white vinegar, which raises the acidity of the batter and intensifies its color. The liquid component is usually buttermilk, which is thought to raise the acidity as well, although the baking soda normally used neutralizes most of the acidity and makes the crumb more coarse and the color darker. So, when I created my
version of this classic, I used only baking powder to employ the full acidity of the buttermilk, making vinegar unnecessary. I also used half oil and half butter for the flavor-enhancing qualities of butter and the moist, softening quality of the oil. The resulting cake is as flavorful and tender as you can hope for and stays soft enough to eat even straight from the fridge. A heart-shape pan is perfect for Valentine’s Day. And the contrast of the white chocolate cream cheese buttercream against the red cake is alluring.

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The Sensational Kaese Sahne Torte from Maria Reisz Springer

Kaese Sahne Torte

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An Austrian Cheese and Cream Cake

Today I am bringing you a blog from a dear friend, Maria Reisz Springer. Maria is from Europe and grew up with incredible desserts. She now has a cooking school in Maryland and tempts sahne-torte-0311those of us who don’t live nearby with incredible blogs. When I saw this blog on Facebook, I asked Maria if she would be comfortable sharing it with my readers and she said she would be happy to be a guest blogger.

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Last Call for Summer Fruit Desserts!

The first autumn showers arrived  today after two days of beautiful, billowy cumulous clouds hanging on the edges of the Santa Cruz mountains and mildly humid weather suggesting that maybe a few sprinkles would come our way.

Unfortunately, it has been just that — sprinkles. Not enough to make the air smell of fresh rain on the pavement, not even enough to register in my rain gauge. The sky grew ominous — then the clouds moved on. I will need to water tomorrow.

Teasers like the rain forecast are the proverbial “death knell” for summer fruit. For the rest of the month we’ll be pushing pumpkins and apples at the store (with a few grapes and pomegranates for good measure) and the days will grow progressively darker. Which is why I’m sneaking in one more bit of late summer goodness before I fully give in to autumn.

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Salty and Sweet Butterscotch Cookies

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Salty and sweet — two all-time favorites — especially when it’s for dessert. And, who doesn’t love the flavor of butterscotch? This is a great cookie recipe for a group of kids, especially after a sports event or after lunch on an all-day outing. These cookies are also idea for turning into ice cream sandwiches. Turkish Coffee and Pumpkin ice creams come to mind and vanilla always works. If salty isn’t your ideal of delicious, feel free to leave it out of the equation.

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Cherry Desserts in September?

Cherries are one of life’s very special gifts, at least that’s how I view them. As a child I patiently waited for cherries to arrive in our small town’s grocery. My mother usually took me shopping with her, so when cherry season arrived, I’d beg her to buy them. I then would forfeit as much allowance as necessary to buy my own personal stash of cherries, which I hoarded in the back of the refrigerator as my brother made frequent visits to the refrigerator throughout the day and inhaled whatever he could find.

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Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts

By Alice Medrich (Artisan Books, 2012)

Dessert: Who doesn’t love it? Even those of us who have sworn off of sugar or beg-off to hold at-bay another pound, secretly have illicit thoughts of a rich, warm morsel from the oven in deep winter, or an icy granita or a cone filled with buttery, creamy ice cream on a blistering day.

Okay, maybe I’m projecting a little too much. Truth is, I love dessert! Years ago I had a conversation with a five-year-old boy, and we admitted to each other that we didn’t have a sweet tooth; we had sweet teeth – a mouth full of them! My grandsons would agree that they too would walk a mile in the snow for something chocolate.

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Why do our customers love Rain's Choice vanilla?

  • You get MORE FLAVOR because we use 20% more beans in our extracts than is required by law!
  • 99% of all vanilla products are imitation. Ours are 100% PURE!
  • We carefully choose all products to assure best QUALITY & FLAVOR!
  • Our farmers are paid a FAIR PRICE.
  • Our vanilla beans are SUSTAINABLY grown.
  • Everything we sell is ORGANICALLY grown.
  • Your purchase here supports our HUMANITARIAN efforts.

Thank you for supporting The Vanilla Company and our farmers! BUY HERE now.

For an update on the 2016 vanilla shortage, please see "Why is Vanilla so Expensive?"

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