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Recipe: Maple Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

I use this simple and delicious Maple Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream in my morning coffee and on ice cream, pie and anything I can think of!

makes 3 1/2 cups

2 cups cold whipping cream
1/4 – 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (sweeten to taste)
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Chill the bowl and whisk of a stand mixer.
If using the vanilla bean paste see notes.
If using the vanilla bean: Pour the cream into a medium bowl. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the cream and whisk together. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
Pour the cream through a fine mesh sieve into the chilled bowl of the stand mixer.
Whisk the cream on medium-low for a few minutes until it starts to thicken. Add the maple syrup.
Increase the speed to medium high and continue to whisk until the cream thickens to your liking.
Use immediately or refrigerate and use within a few hours. (If you made the cream very thick it will last a few days.)

If using the vanilla bean paste you can cut right to whisking the cream. Simple add the vanilla when you add the maple syrup. This will cut out lots of time if you are in a hurry!

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Creme Patisserie {Vanilla Pastry Cream}

This pastry cream can be used in so many desserts, it’s especially great in fruit tarts, eclairs or enjoyed on it’s own.

4 cups of pastry cream

2 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla pod
2 1/4 cups whole milk
2 large egg
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
–optional flavoring suggestions
lemon or lime zest
orange blossom or rose water
fruit or peppermint extracts
cinnamon or other spices you love
almond, praline or pistachio paste

Add the vanilla bean paste or scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into a large saucepan. Pour in the milk and heat over medium-high heat, bring to
a boil.
Put the eggs and yolks into a heat proof bowl, add the sugar, cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Pour the boiling milk over the egg mixture and whisk constantly until completely combined. Pour this custard mixture back into the saucepan over medium heat. Cook and whisk constantly until thickened. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes to combine flavors.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Whisk in any additional flavorings. Press a piece or plastic wrap over the top of the pastry cream. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Refrigerate up to 3 days.

~ Marla Meridith

Black & White Star Cookies

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Black & White Star Cookies

These classic cookies are fun to bake and super delicious for the holidays!

24-36 cookies

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup almond flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
–chocolate and vanilla glazes
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
4 tbsp milk, divided
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
–top with
peppermint candies

In a bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment combine the butter and sugar on medium high speed. Mix for a few minutes until well combined and pale in color, scraping down the sides when necessary. Add in the eggs one at a time, mix again until well combined. Mix in the vanilla extract. Turn off the mixer and add in all of the flour, mixing on low speed until it’s just incorporated.
Working on a floured work surface, divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Flatten into 1 inch thick disks. Wrap separately in plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours up to 5 days.
Remove the dough from the fridge 15 minutes before you are ready to roll it. Roll in between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4 inch thick. If the dough cracks, just press it back together. If the dough gets too sticky you can add more flour to it as you roll. You can also place it back in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm back up.
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees F with the rack in the middle. Cut shapes from the dough with a 3 inch star shaped cookie cutter. Carefully move the cookies with a spatula to parchment lined baking sheets. When all the dough is rolled out and cut, place in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the fridge and bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, they should be lightly golden brown on the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling racks.
Make the glazes: whisk to combine the confectioner’s sugar with 3 tablespoons of milk. Pour half the glaze into a separate bowl stir in the vanilla, and set aside. In the other bowl, add the cocoa powder and remaining 1 tablespoon of milk to the bowl, and whisk until smooth. If the glazes seem a bit too thick (the chocolate one might) slowly add a bit more milk until you have a thick, but spreadable consistency.
With a small spoon or glazing knife place a small amount of the vanilla icing onto a cookie and spread it so it covers half of the cookie. Place the finished cookies on a fresh baking sheet. Continue to use the vanilla icing on the rest of the cookies. Chill the cookies for 10-20 minutes until the vanilla icing is firm. Remove the cookies from the fridge and spread the chocolate glaze onto the other half of the cookies. Gently press a peppermint candy into the chocolate. Chill the cookies again for 10-20 minutes. Serve when the glaze is firm.

~ Marla Meridith

Black & White Star Cookies

These classic cookies are fun to bake and super delicious for the holidays!

24-36 cookies

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup almond flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
–chocolate and vanilla glazes
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
4 tbsp milk, divided
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
–top with
peppermint candies

In a bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment combine the butter and sugar on medium high speed. Mix for a few minutes until well combined and pale in color, scraping down the sides when necessary. Add in the eggs one at a time, mix again until well combined. Mix in the vanilla extract. Turn off the mixer and add in all of the flour, mixing on low speed until it’s just incorporated.
Working on a floured work surface, divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Flatten into 1 inch thick disks. Wrap separately in plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours up to 5 days.
Remove the dough from the fridge 15 minutes before you are ready to roll it. Roll in between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4 inch thick. If the dough cracks, just press it back together. If the dough gets too sticky you can add more flour to it as you roll. You can also place it back in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm back up.
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees F with the rack in the middle. Cut shapes from the dough with a 3 inch star shaped cookie cutter. Carefully move the cookies with a spatula to parchment lined baking sheets. When all the dough is rolled out and cut, place in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the fridge and bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, they should be lightly golden brown on the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling racks.
Make the glazes: whisk to combine the confectioner’s sugar with 3 tablespoons of milk. Pour half the glaze into a separate bowl stir in the vanilla, and set aside. In the other bowl, add the cocoa powder and remaining 1 tablespoon of milk to the bowl, and whisk until smooth. If the glazes seem a bit too thick (the chocolate one might) slowly add a bit more milk until you have a thick, but spreadable consistency.
With a small spoon or glazing knife place a small amount of the vanilla icing onto a cookie and spread it so it covers half of the cookie. Place the finished cookies on a fresh baking sheet. Continue to use the vanilla icing on the rest of the cookies. Chill the cookies for 10-20 minutes until the vanilla icing is firm. Remove the cookies from the fridge and spread the chocolate glaze onto the other half of the cookies. Gently press a peppermint candy into the chocolate. Chill the cookies again for 10-20 minutes. Serve when the glaze is firm.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: No-Churn Peppermint Ice Cream

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Baked Peach Steel Cut Oatmeal

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Chocolate-Vanilla Checkerboard Cookies

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith