By Shauna Sever
Quirk Books, $22.95
In Pure Vanilla, Shauna Sever elevates vanilla from plain-Jane status to something sublime. In addition to heightened versions of the usual dessert suspects (crème brûlée, pastry cream, and sugar cookies), there are delicious recipes for all times of the day. For breakfast, try this tongue twister: Butter Baked Vanilla Bean French Toast, then top it with Vanilla-Bourbon Maple Syrup, and serve it alongside Vanilla, Brown Sugar, and Black Pepper Bacon for total vanilla immersion. Main courses also get a vanilla kick from a Vanilla Beurre Blanc that's great with seafood. To keep the erudite entranced, Sever opens the book with a history of vanilla and includes tasting notes on the different varieties. I'd love her book for Christmas, but I really need it before the holidays because I want to make her Vanilla Bean-Sea Salt Caramels to give as gifts.
|Glazed Vanilla Bean Doughnuts||Twinkie Bundt Cake||Vanilla Cloud Cake|
Photos by Leigh Beisch