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‘Sweet’ Category

  1. Leftover Peppermint Bark …what’s a girl to do?

    April 16, 2013 by

    Cookies, Crinkle peppermint 4
    Leftover Peppermint Bark …what’s a girl to do?
    I was so excited to see peppermint bark for sale last December–that I certainly bought too much.  This is something I tend to do with supplies for my kitchen since I live so far from everything and on this island, if you see something once at the store, this does not guarantee it will be there the next time you shop!  So I bought a lot…and now, it is April.  What to do?  Make cookies!
    Cookies, Crinkle peppermint bark dough
    This is a recipe I altered a bit from my Grammy’s recipe and a family favorite for Christmas, but really, for anytime you want a perfect balance of chewy, crisp outer crinkled shell of powdered sugariness, chocolate and minty wonderfulness.

    Grammy’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookies with Peppermint Bark

    1/4 Cup vegetable or coconut oil
    1/4 Cup butter, softened
    1 Cup sugar
    1 Cup brown sugar
    4 eggs
    2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
    1/2 Teaspoon salt
    2 Cups flour
    2 Teaspoons baking powder
    1 bar of peppermint bark (3.5 oz)
    1 Cup confectioners sugar
    Mix oil, butter, chocolate and sugar until blended.
    Add eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated and fluffy.
    Stir in salt, flour, baking powder and vanilla.
    Break up the Peppermint bark into small chunks.  Stir in.
    Chill for several hours (or pop it in the freezer for 45 minutes)
    Using a cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop scoops into the confectioners sugar (see above photo)
    Roll around and shape into a ball.
    Place 2 inches aart on a parchment lined, or greased baking sheet.
    Bake for 10-12 minutes at 325 degrees.
    Cookies, Crinkle peppermint 4
    While they were chilling, I started making dinner.  We were having Rib Eye steaks rubbed with our South West rub, roasted Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes with the works; sour cream, green onions, and of course, crumbled bacon!
    Brussel Sprouts
    Emma halved the sprouts and I tossed them with some Vanilla Oil and Vanilla Salt.
    Brussel Sprouts 2
    I roasted them at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (this will depend on your oven–mine is a commercial convection, so things cook a little more quickly than my oven at home).
    Brussel Sprouts 3
    They come out so beautiful!  The addition of the Vanilla lends such a perfect note of sweetness and takes away any bitter notes that some people sometimes associate with Brussels sprouts.
    I cooked the bacon the way my other Grandmother always cooked it; on a baking sheet in the oven.  It always produces the perfect amount of crispiness and that was what we wanted to top our mashed potatoes with!
    I had to stop taking photos because everyone was hungry!  It was all very delicious and a wonderful way to celebrate the end of our work week.  I hope you are welcoming Spring in, wherever you are!
    xovox (vanilla hugs & kisses)

  2. Vanilla Mulled Wine

    March 9, 2013 by

    mulled wine

    Ahhhhhh, it’s Saturday…..time to slow down and anticipate a relaxing winter evening.  We hopefully will be warming up soon on the Mountain!  Today is glorious–clear, crisp, blue skies and no wind.  There is still snow on the peaks, and there is a chill in the air, but I can tell we won’t be having this snuggly weather for too much longer.

    mulled wine


    This is a great recipe to enjoy this evening, or, even better, tomorrow night (if you don’t finish it all tonight!).  You can use apple juice or cran-apple juice instead of the cider, but if you can find cider, I recommend it.  It adds a rich depth of flavor. This is another perfect recipe for a gathering since you can make it ahead of time.   I think you will truly enjoy the way the vanilla notes will soften any bitter edges and make this a new favorite!  Let me know how yours turns out…



    Vanilla Spiced Mulled Wine



    1 bottle (750 ml) Cabernet Sauvignon

    4 Cups cider or juice

    1/4 Cup vanilla honey (if you have it, if not, regular honey will suffice)

    2 Tablespoons Vanilla Mulling Spices

    Juice and zest of one orange


    *Cinnamon sticks, for a nice garnish



    Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Strain into a serving pitcher.   Pour into mugs to serve and add a cinnamon stick as a garnish.  You can also save this in the refrigerator for up to a week.


    ***Remember to enjoy responsibly!

  3. Recipe: Vanilla Lilikoi Poundcake

    March 2, 2013 by




    One of our most requested recipes is for our Vanilla Lilikoi Poundcake, which is served at both our Up Country Teas and our Tasting events.  We also have it available to purchase in our Sweet Shop at the Mill if you just drive up and want  something sweet and delectable to eat–make sure to have it warmed up slightly with a scoop of ice cream on the side–plus, you will always get a sample of our Vanilla Lilikoi Curd to drizzle on top.

    A traditional poundcake asks for 1 pound each of butter, sugar and flour, plus eggs–this one requires a little less, 3/4 lb. of each, in order to allow for the lilikoi puree.

    We are blessed to live in a place where we can find lilikoi right down the street, but I know it can be found in health food stores or the gourmet section of your local store.

    You can make this in a tube pan or Bundt pan, muffin tins, mini-muffin tins or 3 small loaf pans. To make it extra-decadent, make sure to have some of our Vanilla Lilikoi Curd to drizzle on top–and don’t forget Rosalani’s  Hawaiian Vanilla Bean Ice Cream!

    Vanilla-Lilikoi Poundcake
    1 1/2 Cups butter, softened, plus 2 -3 Tablespoons for greasing your pan
    3 Cups sugar
    6 eggs, at room temperature
    3 Cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    6 oz. lilikoi puree
    2  teaspoons Vanilla extract
    Prepare your tube or Bundt pan by greasing generously with butter.
    Cream together butter, and sugar in a stand up mixer until creamed and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time until fully combined.
    Stir in lilikoi puree until just combined.  Add in vanilla extract.
    Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
    Add the flour mixture in thirds to the butter-lilikoi mixture, being careful not to over mix (this will make the crumb of the cake tough).
    Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake at 325 degrees until very golden around the edges and top (the time will vary depending on the size of your pan–mini muffin tins will take less time (approx. 20 minutes) and a tube pan will take longer (approx. 55-65 minutes).  Make sure to test the interior of the cake with a toothpick or cake tester.  If the top seems to be browning too quickly with the center not setting up, lower you heat.  We use a commercial convection oven here at the Mill, so things do cook differently.

  4. My Epic Fail or, How I Made A Trifle Out Of A Failed Genoise

    February 8, 2013 by


    I love that the word “trifle” has more than one meaning; it can mean something of little, or no value; it can mean frivolously spending ones time (which I thought I had done when making this framboise); my dad always used to say,”You better not be trifling with me!” or, it can refer to a custard and fruit filled dessert, layered with sponge cake. However, I had not set out to make a Trifle. I had desired to create a beautiful, layered cake, filled with a decadent white chocolate-lemon-ganache. This was not to be, but I think you will find what I ended up with was just as delicious and actually, quite fun to make. The best part is–it doesn’t have to be perfect to turn out something that others will enjoy.


    A genoise is typically a dry cake, leavened with only eggs. It is often compared to an Italian sponge cake. It’s dry, sponginess makes it the perfect type of cake to pair with a rich custard and some liquored-up fruit. I didn’t have any of the aforementioned fruit–just the lovely vanilla lemon curd I had made, so it would have to do for this time, especially because I am adding in the flavor punch of our Vanilla Rum extract to the cake. In addition, I added some vanilla seeds for that lovely vanilla-speckle that is not only delicious, but an added feast for the eyes.


    If you follow these instructions to the letter, you WILL be able to make a gorgeous layered cake. If you forgo the part about lining your cake pans with parchment, you (like me) can make the trifle–either in individual serving size, (I did mine in clear, plastic ones for a SuperBowl party last weekend) or in a large trifle bowl (the one I have I bought at Target).



    Vanilla Genoise (Makes 2, 8 ” cakes, or, enough for about 12 individual trifles, or, one large trifle)



    1 3/4 Cup all purpose flour

    1/4 Cup corn starch

    **You can use 2 cups of cake flour instead of the previous 2 ingredients–I did not have any on hand, so instead I substituted all purpose + cornstarch. Feel free to use either.

    1/4 Cup confectioners sugar

    vanilla seeds

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    4 Tablespoons melted butter

    8 Eggs

    1 Cup sugar

    2 Tablepoons vanilla rum extract



    Preheat your oven to 325 degrees


    Butter your pans generously and line the bottoms with parchment paper (I do this by placing my cake pan onto the parchment and tracing a line around it either with a pen or pencil, or, gently with the tip of a paring knife and then cutting it out).


    In a bowl, sift together your flour, corn starch, confectioners sugar, vanilla seeds and salt. Rub the vanilla seeds with the salt and sugar to avoid clumping.


    Melt butter in a small pot and set aside and allow to cool while doing next step.


    Next is the tricky part:

    Crack your eggs into a heat proof bowl. Add in 1 cup of sugar.

    You want to heat up the eggs and sugar together to give them “lift”, but not to curdle or scramble the eggs. You will need to heat up some water to a simmer in a large enough pot to hold your bowl. You don’t need to fill the pot completely–just enough water to heat the bottom of your bowl–about 4-5 inches should do the trick. Turn off heat and place your bowl into the pot so that your bowl in sitting on the top of the water bath. Whisk for 5 minutes until the eggs and sugar are fully incorporated and have tripled in volume. When you lift the whisk, the mixture should fall away like ribbons. Pull off the heat and whisk in vanilla rum extract.


    Fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture with a very gentle hand. Do not over mix or you will deflate your eggs! Fold in another 1/3 of your flour mixture until combined, and then the remaining 1/3 in the same manner.


    Add in cooled, melted butter and fold gently until incorporated.


    Pour batter (dividing the batter as evenly as you can between the two pans) into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned.


    Cool on a rack for 20 minutes and then invert onto another rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting.


    White Chocolate-vanilla-lemon ganache



    1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

    2 Cups White chocolate (chips are fine)

    1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

    8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened

    1 Cup confectioners sugar

    1/2 Cup Vanilla Lemon Curd + 1/2 Cup for garnishing the top of cake or trifle(s)



    Heat cream in a small, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pot. Turn off heat and add in white chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts. Add vanilla extract. Allow to cool.


    In a standing mixer, beat cream cheese and confectioners sugar until combined. Stir in 1/2 Cup Vanilla Lemon Curd. Stir in cooled white chocolate mixture.



    For a layered cake:

    Place one genoise on a cake plate or stand. Generously frost with ganache. Place second cake on top and generously frost, or pipe on decoratively. Using remaining 1/2 cup of your Vanilla Lemon Curd, spoon onto the center of your cake and gently spread, leaving about an inch border. You can then sprinkle it with candied lemon or garnish it with some Vanilla Spiked Whipped Cream if you desire. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to give the genoise time to absorb some of the flavor and for the ganache to set.


    For Trifle(s):

    Layer in your trifle dish(es); ganache-chunks of genoise-ganache-genoise-ganache-genoise-ganache (until everything is all used up!)-dollop of vanilla lemon curd-whipped cream & candied lemon.


    Enjoy your Friday and let me know if you make this and how it turns out. Remember to enjoy it with a cup of Vanilla Coffee and to share it with the ones you love!


    xovox (hugs & vanilla kisses), the Vanilla Chef (aka Tracy Reddekopp)



  5. Making Vanilla Lemon Curd

    February 6, 2013 by



    Vanilla Lemon Curd

    – 6 egg yolks (save whites for a genoise recipe I’m posting on Friday–or, make an omelette for    lunch!)

    – 2 whole eggs

    – 1 1/2 cup sugar

    – vanilla seeds (rub into the sugar to avoid clumping)

    – 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

    – 1 cup lemon juice

    – zest of 4 lemons

    – 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized chunks


    In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, whisk egg yolks and eggs together . Pour in sugar, vanilla seeds and extract, lemon juice and zest. and continue whisking until combined. Place over medium-low heat, being attentive and whisking often, until it begins to thicken and coats the back of your spoon or spatula (this will take about 12 minutes). Remove from heat, and stir in the butter, one tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated and no streaks of butter remain. Pour into sterilized jars (if you are giving them as gifts), or into a container to keep in the refrigerator. You may want to place a layer of plastic wrap or, I prefer parchment paper onto the top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.



    ***Enjoy drizzled on ice cream, cheese cake, on toast, by the spoonful, or, save some for the Vanilla-White Chocolate-Lemon-Trifle recipe I’m posting on Friday.



  6. Winter Warmth “With Lemons”

    February 4, 2013 by

    photo (2)


    We DO have a Winter here in Hawaii–and, I know, it is NOTHING like the cold temperatures that some of you get–it does allow us to have lovely fires in our fireplace and warm up our cold-cement-floored home.  We love to snuggle up after dinner and read,  or, just to talk.

    photo (3)

    While it has been chilly here (for us–it does get down into the 50’s, and sometimes high 40’s), this also brings out the best in our citrus and avocado trees.  So, Aidan and I decided to finally DO something with all of the beautiful Meyer lemons that are burdening our trees.

    photo (2)

    We picked the best of the best–look at the size of some of these!

    photo (5)

    photo (4)

    I posted before about a Vanilla Lime Curd I made (and then made some tartlets with a cream cheese crust, too), and so decided to start with a Vanilla Lemon Curd which I then made into a Vanilla White Chocolate Lemon Trifle (which started out as a layer cake, but I had an EPIC FAIL, which I will blog about on Friday).

    IMG_3344 (1)

    So, cuddle up by a fire (if you have one) or a loved one, and stay warm!

    P.S.  Hope you all had a great Super Bowl Sunday!  I will send the link for our 7 Layer Dip with Vanilla South West Hamburger on Wednesday that we made in individual cups for a party that everyone (except me!) went to.  I stayed home and watched Downton Abbey!

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