Infuse Melted Butter with Spices for Tastier Baked Goods

You probably already know that toasting spices or sizzling them in oil or butter helps their flavor bloom—and the same principle applies for baking, too. For recipes that call for melted butter, just heat that butter with whole or crushed spices, like a split vanilla bean, a broken cinnamon stick, or a few crushed whole cloves or cardamom pods. With heat, the essential oils from the spices make their way into the browned butter and the two swirl around and become one tasty mess. Besides spice, this method creates toasty depth in the butter, a guaranteed flavor booster.

Source: How to Spice Up Your Christmas Cookies (Literally)

That’ll make for a killer pancake recipe…  Don’t forget about using eggnog to make French toast.

Q: Could you do this for recipes that call for solid butter by cooking the spices in then re-cooling the butter?

A: You will boil off the water when browning the butter, so – no. Even if you just melt the butter and don’t brown it, you will lose water content.

Make Creamier Ice Cream with Powdered Skim Milk

If you’ve ever felt like homemade ice cream can’t measure up to the stuff at the shop, freeze it right there. We’ve collected 15 tips and tricks from some of our favorite ice cream cookbooks that’ll have you slathering the inside of your cones with Nutella and adding mix-ins like a master. You’ll be (happily) screaming for ice cream in no time.

Source: 15 Cool Ice Cream Tips We Learned from Cookbooks

For the cost of vanilla bean?  The result better be good…

Gelatin is certainly an interesting additive, but it’s not vegan/vegetarian.  Pectin would be the vegan/vegetarian alternative, but I gone looking to know if someone has figured out the ratio.

I will not make coconut ice cream without having tried some already.  I don’t generally like a lot of coconut.  I leave you with the following:

Take Your Summer Lemonade to the Next Level with Vanilla Bean

“Don’t worry, it’s not dirt.” They reassured their customers. “It’s our secret ingredient: vanilla bean!”

With equal parts relief and curiosity, their customers took a sip, many of them proclaiming the cup the best they’ve ever had. My three little entrepreneurs beamed with pride, and off to the side, I did too—proud of my lemonade patrons and quite proud to have discovered how those little vanilla flecks turn a simple, summer classic into something special and, really, quite profitable.

Source: Secret-Ingredient Lemonade

My first thought is that business model.  Vanilla bean is not cheap, so I wonder if the kids actually made a profit.  I suggest using vanilla bean paste, not extract. 1 tablespoon = 1 vanilla bean. Vanilla extract would taste too harsh.

Other alternatives to try:

  • mint, to make limonana
  • basil