Currently viewing the tag: "cream cheese"

parsnip cupcakes
Parsnips are often overlooked when it comes to baking. I’ll admit I’ve walked straight past them in the produce section, their pale white exterior ignored for other, flashier vegetables. The bold-colored flesh and feathery tops of the parsnip’s neighbor is more familiar, and the root that one associates with muffins and quick bread. So it’s the carrot that is placed in my shopping cart, and then ends up in my cake.

But Martha Stewart changed my mind. Her lovely book Vegetables showed up at my front door, and after thumbing through so many amazing recipes (Skillet Pizza with Greens and Eggplant! Corn and Scallion Chilaquiles! Beet Risotto with Beet Greens! Broccoli Rabe and Ham Croque Monsieurs! Squash Blossom Frittata! Frisee and Roasted Pear Salad!), I (of course) found my way to one of the few desserts in the book, and decided to start there. I’m glad I did.
cupcakesa

Martha Stewart
A few things:

It’s not too late to enter my giveaway! If you’ve pre-ordered my cookbook, you can enter to win a Vanilla Bean Baking Book apron and tea towel set. See this post for details.

Last week my site was down for a little bit, and I lost three posts. I was able to get them back, but sadly all the comments were deleted. So if you left me a question and I didn’t get back to you, please try again! Sorry about that.

It’s less than a week from Election Day, which is also the release of my cookbook. The lovely FauxMartha and my husband helped me come up with the perfect hashtag to celebrate both events: #bakeamericacakeagain. I think we could all use a little extra love while we move closer to Tuesday, and baking cake and sharing some is the perfect way to do just that. Tag your cakes on Instagram to play along! 

Although I thought we were terribly clever, there are already a bunch of fun cake/bake hashtags playing on ‘Make America Great Again’ on Instagram. NPR has a post on the history of Election Cakes that you can read about here.

Read More

Grand Marnier Orange Cake | the vanilla bean blog
“Gathering around the dinner table has been and still is the highlight of our day… We believe that eating together is more than just everyone sitting down at the table; it’s about the communal meal, which at its best is the ritual of sharing food, of cooking together, eating together, and laughing together. Our recipes return families to the idea of a common pot.”

A few weeks ago I was sent a copy of The Pollan Family Table, a cookbook celebrating good, simple food for the family table. I always appreciate cookbooks of this variety – as someone who tries to cook a dinner meal five times a week, I often find myself running out of ideas that my whole family will enjoy. This cookbook does just that. It inspires with healthy ingredients and seasonal recipes.

Of course I was drawn immediately to the dessert section, and so made Grandma Mary’s Grand Marnier Orange Cake. This cake! I must admit I usually go for chocolate-y things, but I had a bag of blood oranges and decided to try out the Bundt cake. This cake! It’s crazy good.
Grand Marnier Orange Cake | the vanilla bean blog

Grand Marnier Orange Cake | the vanilla bean blog

Grand Marnier Orange Cake | the vanilla bean blog
Leave a comment below (along with an email address) for your chance to win a copy of The Pollan Family Table!

Read More

cinnamon rolls + a giveaway
cinnamon rolls + a giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
A year and a half ago I started working for Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, the authors of the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day Cookbooks. While I write some blog posts for them and spend a good deal of time pinning to their Pinterest boards, one of the highlights of my job is helping them work on cookbooks. A little over a year ago we spent a whole week together, along with photographer Stephen Scott Gross, mixing buckets of dough and baking piles of bread for their book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day.

I was a fan of the Bread in Five series before I met Jeff and Zoë, and now after spending time with the two of them, I can’t rave about them, and their books, enough. I’ve made boules, baguettes, bagels, doughnuts, beignets, coffee cake, sandwich bread, dinner rolls, bostok, and cinnamon rolls with their dough. It’s all been amazing. And so to celebrate, I am giving away 5 copies of the new book! Leave a comment here (with your email, please) and I will pick a winner next week (the giveaway is only open to US residents, sorry!). Winners have been picked and contacted!
cinnamon rolls + a giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
cinnamon rolls + a giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
cinnamon rolls + a giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
Oh, and these cinnamon rolls. Made with brioche dough and smothered in cinnamon and cream cheese icing, they were a perfect start to our weekend.

Read More

raspberry cacao nib sugar buns | the vanilla bean blog

Hello! I come to you today with raspberry cacao nib sugar buns and a giveaway, both of which I’m terribly excited about. I’ve been baking up a storm lately;  this extended winter Minneapolis refuses to let go of is making us all stir-crazy, literally. So we’ve been kneading and rolling and folding and repeating too often for this little family of four. But! these tasty raspberry circles were worth our time, and after enjoying a few, we gladly passed them out to our neighbors.

And, speaking of stir-crazy (I know, cheesy), I am happy to be hosting a giveaway for these lovely wooden spoons by Wind and Willow Home! You may have seen Araya’s gorgeous dipped bowls all over Pinterest, as well as bunnies and planters and candle cups. Today she is giving away a set of wooden spoons – 3 lovely hand-dipped spoons to brighten your kitchen and welcome in spring. All you have to do is leave a comment below! [Giveaway open to all, and please leave an email address! I will pick a winner next Friday.]  The winner is Maria! I’ve sent you an email!

raspberry cacao nib sugar buns | the vanilla bean blog
raspberry cacao nib sugar buns | the vanilla bean blog
raspberry cacao nib sugar buns | the vanilla bean blog
raspberry cacao nib sugar buns | the vanilla bean blog
raspberry cacao nib sugar buns | the vanilla bean blog

Read More

I have named you queen.
There are taller than you, taller.
There are purer than you, purer.
There are lovelier than you, lovelier.
But you are the queen.
-Pablo Neruda
Perhaps pumpkin is more traditional and chocolate more sexy, perhaps pie is expected and tarts would turn heads. But somehow this bundt cake with root vegetables baked into tall towers; this cake with cream cheese hiding in swirls along its center, convinced me that this was the perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving, despite what everyone expected. So I gave in and gave thanks.

Read More

Lately I’ve been rocking a well-worn copy of Molly Katzen‘s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. I’ve loved this cookbook for a long time; it was a staple at my beloved Blue Heron Coffeehouse, and Larry and Colleen were frequently seen thumbing through it, shocking the sleepy town of Winona with Chinese mushroom soup and eggplant salads and all kinds of other goodness that were found handwritten on it’s beautiful pages.
And there was this bread one day, one crisp fall day when Adam and I were off again and most my grades were off again, and I had skipped another lecture and there were piles of homework in my dirty red back pack. I stopped in for lunch before my work shift, and scrawled on the hanging chalkboard under ‘soup of the day’ was ‘creamy zucchini’ and ‘maple oatmeal bread’. I don’t know if they were meant to be together, but they both sounded so good that I ate them together anyway and went back for seconds. And I had never had creamy zucchini soup or maple oatmeal bread, but that first taste is forever etched in my mind; Me: greedily hunched over a well-used cream-colored bowl, eating my bread and soup and feeling comfort for the first time in weeks. I will never forget those flavors on my tongue and how warm they were to my belly; the maple and oatmeal and cream and zucchini relieving my heartache for a few precious moments. Each bite held kind voices, my sister’s laugh, the tall oak trees that watched over me as a child. When my bowl was empty I took it in the back, and there, as my shift was starting, I couldn’t bring myself to wash it.
I love getting that phone call. ‘Could you bring something? Something sweet?’ I try not to sound too eager as I accept, excited to be baking with a purpose, for someone near and dear.
I brought this coffee cake to a baby shower; a room filled with good friends and joyful hearts. While there was food and gifts overflowing, there was also the expectation of someone so little and so new, waiting to experience this life. And while my heart was shaken this week with front page stories of horror and reminders of our fragile mortality, this little gathering encouraged me to hope. To not stop dreaming. To wrap  my life in as much beauty and wonder as I possible can. To not run from the hard things, but to walk through them. To bake a cake and give it away, piece by piece. To shine as bright as stars, and teach my children to do the same.
I don’t think I’ve ever finished a bottle of red wine. I’m one of those fruity-white-wine-spritzer kind of girls, and to the horror of some I have been known to ‘brighten up’ my dark reds with a little 7up [should I be admitting this? Probably not]. So thankfully, this wonderful genius came up with red wine chocolate cake. Because now instead of stashing that half finished bottle on the counter for weeks, insistent that I really will make sauce or soup or something out of it in the near future, I can whip up this incredible cake. Because I’d much rather do that.
And yes, this cake is amazing. It is elegant: dark and deep, like a dreamy daze from one drink too many. The chocolate and cinnamon hits you at once, while the wine takes it’s time, working itself through your mouth, slowly setting off your taste buds. Then the cream cheese topping finds you; the tangy cheese and vanilla beans compliment the chocolate and the wine perfectly, and it’s all one lovely flavorful affair.  You find yourself reeling for another bite, and you give in.

Read More

I couldn’t resist these little plums. They jumped out at me as I walked through the store, and my daughter squealed with delight as something so tiny and so purple was put into our cart.
I came home to find the Smitten Kitchen had posted a recipe for a Hazelnut Plum Crumb Tart. It was meant to be. Except I didn’t have hazelnuts. So I did some tweaking, and a plum walnut crumb tart with a cream cheese filling soon came out of my oven. Then I was the one squealing at what those little purple plums had turned into.
This tart is really incredible. The crumb topping is sweet and a teensy bit salty, and the not-so-sweetness of the plums balance everything nicely. And the cream cheese filling. Yes. That will make everything alright. Just for a moment.

Read More

Purchase my cookbook!

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / BAM / IndieBound

Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit