vanilla bean

Chocolate Walnut Pear Crostata

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Vanilla bean, apricot glazed poached pears nestled in a chocolate, walnut, fudgy, frangipane - all encased in a flaky, buttery pasta frolla. Delicious!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

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I mentioned a while back about buying some vanilla beans to make homemade vanilla extract and wanted to show you how easy it is to make. There are tons of blog posts out there with directions. Everyone's directions are the same the only difference in my blog post is that I didn't run out and buy expensive bottles for mine. I used what I had on hand.

Once I knew I was going to make this I started collecting small bottles when I went out to the thrift stores. And since I make jam I also had small canning jars on hand.

Vanilla Almond Cupcakes

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I made these vanilla almond cupcakes for one of my best friend's baby showers. Made with real vanilla beans, European butter, and the freshest ingredients, they have a dense pound cake texture and a distinct almond flavor. Piped with a buttercream rose, they are an elegant addition to any kind of gathering.

Mini rhubarb pavlovas

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Crisp homemade meringues topped with velvety cream and a delicious rhubarb compote - heavenly!

Pastel vasco with blackberry compote

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A cake that comes out of the oven already filled - with a delicious homemade blackberry compote!

Double Dose Vanilla Cupcakes

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Lovely aromatic Double Dose Vanilla Cupcakes with whipped cream cheese frosting.

Cannoli Cupcakes

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How amazingly cute are these cupcakes? Bursting with a ricotta filling and topped with a vanilla bean buttercream frosting, these cupcakes should be on the top of any must-do list. They not only only look fabulous, but I'm guessing they taste heavenly as well. Thanks for sharing, Kita!

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Thanks to a wonderful Christmas present from her sister (Martha Stewart's cupcake book!), Shawnda's favorite Italian dessert gets cupcake-ified. "Moist" cake and "rich and fluffy" frosting combine for all the flavor of the real thing. Here's to making our cake and eating it, too!

Recipe: Tiramisu Cupcakes

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon, poppy seeds and a luscious vanilla frosting (with both beans and extract) are a great way to celebrate a birthday - and an anniversary!

Recipe: Lemon-poppy seed cake with vanilla-cream cheese frosting

French Vanilla Fairy Cupcakes

French Vanilla Fairy Cupcakes

How girly and fun are these? Little known fact: to this day, Cinderella is my all-time favorite movie, so I have a special place in my heart for all things Disney. 

Joelen made these adorable Tinkerbelle-inspired cupcakes for a 9-year-old's birthday party this weekend. Sweet vanilla cake, topped with classic vanilla buttercream and pink and purple sprinkles...a perfect complement to any fairy party!

Recipe: French Vanilla Fairy Cupcakes