I know it’s been a while since I did a book review, but this one is super fun, and I love this recipe for Purim (or pretty much any time. Ever.) The frosting is vanilla flavored, but add in some food coloring to match your color scheme and you’re all set.
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for a giveaway of this book!
Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever is a super fun and creative book that aims to change your impression of vanilla from a minor side ingredient to a star of the show. Here’s what I thought of it.
At a First Glance:
I never thought of vanilla as such a starring ingredient before. To me, vanilla means no other flavor. But this book spotlights it in the most amazing ways! There’s a breakfast section, a cake section, a cookie section and a candy section. Pretty much every kind of sweet treat…highlighting vanilla!
Some Features I Liked:
This book features lots of recipes, but also tips, tricks and even history surrounding the amazing flavor of vanilla which I enjoyed reading.
This is a beautifully done, hard covered book with clearly laid out recipes and gorgeous pictures. It’s an all-around pleasure to read and enjoy!
Most importantly, this book has an astonishing variety of recipes featuring vanilla in all it’s forms.
Some Recipes I Can’t Wait To Try:
Twinkie Bundt Cake: we all know that I adore bundt cakes, but the cream filling on this one is calling my name…loudly!
Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes: because there’s no such thing as “good enough” when it comes to a vanilla cupcake!
Vanilla Bean Marshmallows: I’ve been wanting to try my hand at marshmallows for a while -and these look fabulous.
Vanilla Cloud Cake: the author says everyone who tastes this cake proclaims it’s the best they’ve ever had. How can I not try it for myself?
Who This Cookbook is For:
This is a really fun book with lots of great ideas for anybody who enjoys baking and being creative in the kitchen.
And while everyone can enjoy these delicious recipes, this book is especially good for anyone who doesn’t like (love?) chocolate. For the rest of us, yes. People like that exist. I’ve met them.
Who This Cookbook isn’t For:
Firstly, people with special dietary needs such as gluten or sugar free will not find many suitable recipes in this book.
Also, if you’re looking for an all-around dessert cookbook, this isn’t your best option. While there’s a wide variety of ideas, they mostly have the same flavor.
What I Didn’t Like About this Cookbook:
As I’ve written so many times in the past, this is a niche cookbook, which by default means there are limitations. In this case, (obviously) everything is vanilla flavored.
Another thing (which I know I’ve mentioned many times before as well) is that many of the recipes don’t have pictures. Call me spoiled, but especially with some of the more visual recipes that’s important to me.
Lastly, while I’m okay with it, some people may not find these recipes very easy or quick.
Lastly, many of the recipes in this book use forms of vanilla which are either hard to get, expensive, or both. The author does include a substitution chart, but for some recipes she specifies that subs aren’t a good idea.
This book is fun, interesting, creative and most importantly, has a bunch of great looking recipes! If you love to bake, consider purchasing it …or buy it for the baker in your life as a gift!
And here’s a recipe from the book. I am not sure what to say about this other than it’s delicious. And it so elevates the “plain” sugar cookie with all of the intense vanilla flavor!
Big Soft Vanilla Sugar Cookies:
Adapted from Pure Vanilla
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter/margarine and vanilla until creamy. Add the sugar and beat on high until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs and corn syrup until blended. Reduce mixer speed to medium and beat in the oil mixture. Beat until fully combined.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually mix in the flour, beating until just combined.
Cover the dough and refrigerate until firm, at least two hours (up to overnight).
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and bake as follows (depending on the size cookie you desire.)
For extra large cookies: scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet using a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Bake 3 per sheet for 15-17 minutes, until the cookies are just turning pale gold around the edges.
For regular sized cookies (pictured here) : scoop the dough using a medium cookie scoop. Bake 9 cookies per sheet for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are just turning pale gold around the edges.
Remove cookies from the oven and set aside to cool.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk or soy milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together all ingredients until fluffy. Frost the cooled cookies. Top with sprinkles or colored sugar, if desired.
*Note: if you don’t have vanilla bean paste, you can sub additional vanilla extract, though the taste won’t be quite the same. You may need to reduce the milk by a teaspoon or two to make up for the extra liquid.
And now, the giveaway!
For your chance to win a copy of Pure Vanilla:
Please note: Each entry requires its own comment! Multiple entries in one comment will only be counted once!
Entry #1 – Leave a comment on this post telling me what flavor you would like to see an entire cookbook of!
Entry #2 – Follow @OvertimeCook on twitter and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.
Entry # 3- Like Tales of an Overtime Cook on Facebook and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.
Entry # 4 – Follow @OvertimeCook on Pinterest and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.
Entry # 5 – Subscribe to OvertimeCook via email (link is on the right sidebar of the blog). and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.
Note: if you already like/follow etc, that’s fine. Just leave a comment letting me know that!
Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Thursday, February 22nd. A valid email address or twitter profile must be provided.
Prize can be shipped within the US and Canada.
Giveaway is sponsored by the publisher.
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me for review by the publisher. All opinions are my own. There are affiliate links within this post.
Thanks all for stopping by! Good luck with the giveaway and enjoy the cookies! Have a fabulous weekend and come back soon! Next week I have some super delicious treats to share with you all! -Miriam