Cooking and baking are two things that I like to do with my free time. Whenever I get the chance and have a little inspiration I like to try new recipes either that I’ve found in a magazine, online, or in a cookbook.
Every once in awhile, my husband likes to try his hand in the kitchen. One time he found some recipe he wanted to make that called for a specific kind of vanilla. Not a cheap brand, but he went to the store and shelled out the cash to buy it anyway.
I used some of it later in a few baked goods and I swear I could tell the difference in how the items baked and how they tasted, too. Ever since then, I keep seeing so many recipe videos in which people are using higher-end vanilla, some that even use vanilla bean paste which really intrigues me.
This is why I’m excited to have been using the Heilala® Vanilla Starter Kit available from The Kiwi Importer that I’m making use of in my kitchen recently. The starter kit includes Pure Vanilla Bean Sugar, 100% Pure Vanilla Extract and Pure Vanilla Bean Paste.
I hadn’t really thought much about vanilla as an ingredient before or considered it’s importance in the recipes we all love. But, with the proliferation of recipe videos available for viewing I have begun to think more about ingredients in general because of the variety of brands I’ve seen highlighted in these recipe video tutorials. There are so many types of different products and brands than I realized. It’s really piqued my interest in learning more about how using certain brands can create different tasting experiences in foods.
The Kiwi Importer is based in Houston, TX and offers “natural and socially responsible gourmet food and beverage products.” I had no idea that the process for extracting vanilla flavoring could be so involved, but Heilala® 100% Pure Vanilla Extract is made using a unique cold extraction process that takes 3 months. Wow! It’s a totally natural product with no added sugar, or synthetic or imitation flavors.
Heilala® was founded on aid and fair trade. It began as an aid project in Tonga in 2002 to create essential employment and resources such as running water, housing and schools for the local community of Vava’u. —– Source: The Kiwi Importer
Look at all of those delicious little bits of vanilla bean. This is just a small drop of the Heilala® Vanilla Bean Paste that has been spread out to show the prominence of the vanilla bean present in the paste. But look at the spoonful there, that’s a lot of vanilla bean!
Vanilla bean paste is an ingredient that I keep seeing pop up in Facebook recipe videos lately (usually in recipes for cake or cupcake frostings). I’ve never used it before but I’m looking for a recipe to try it in. I’m really excited about that!
I did recently bake some fun Spring-themed sugar cookies using the Heilala® Vanilla Infused Sugar and Heilala® 100% Pure Vanilla Extract in the recipe.
You can use any sugar cookie recipe that you are partial to for your Spring cookies. I used Heilala® Vanilla Infused Sugar in place of the regular white sugar and Heilala® 100% Pure Vanilla Extract in the recipe I found with an easy online search.
I decided that I wanted to dress my cookies up with some melted marshmallows and assorted spring-colored sugars and sprinkles for a start.
To make these cookies, just mix up the sugar cookie recipe of your choice. Grab the dough by spoonfuls from the mixing bowl and roll into balls then bake until they are nice and rounded but still need a few minutes to be done baking.
Using the back of a spoon or your fingers, create an indented space in the middle of the cookies and top each one with a large marshmallow. Bake a few more minutes until the marshmallow is heated through and starts to expand a bit.
This year I’ve found these scrumptious Carrot Cake flavored Hershey’s Kisses and knew they’d be perfect to top these cookies. I love the beautiful orange color! I’ve been a fan of Hershey’s seasonal flavors for a long time. I think my favorite was a cherry cordial flavor that I tried for the first time a few years ago.
I love to use Hershey’s Kisses to make fun themed cookies. For Christmas, I made some How The Grinch Crinkled Christmas Cookies that were fun. I’ve made them for kids in my family for the holidays before but this year I added Hershey’s Kisses Kissmas Chocolates on top for a little extra panache.
I’ll admit, I didn’t anticipate that melted marshmallow wouldn’t cause the sprinkles and sugars to attach firmly. Live and learn. But, this was still an insanely fun baking experience. And the Heilala® Vanilla Starter Kit sugar and vanilla extract gave the cookies such a deep yet mellow sweet flavor that I ate altogether too many of these cookies. I just couldn’t help myself!
The Kiwi Importer also offers other great natural products such as tea, honey, vanilla syrup, and some hot sauces that my husband would love to try. I’m really interested in trying Heilala® Vanilla Syrup and to continue finding new and exciting recipes to try these wonderful products in.
What is your favorite recipe to make that uses vanilla (in any form) as an ingredient? Check out The Kiwi Importer website and tell ma which of their unique products you can’t wait to try!
© 2017, Beauty Brite. All rights reserved.