Gluten-Free Granola


7 oz (3.5 Cups) unsweetened coconut Flakes

1 Cup sunflower seeds

2 Cups coarsly chopped walnuts

2 Cups blanched sliced almonds 

1 Cup chopped pecans

1 and 1/2  teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 Cup neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed

3/4 Cup agave syrup, maple syrup, or honey

2 Tablespoons VAIN Vanilla

2 Cups dried berries or raisins


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients EXCEPT dried fruit and stir till well combined. Pour mixture onto a sheet pan lined with a well greased sheet of parchment paper or a silpat mat. Spread mixture over pan and bake 15 minutes. Remove mixture from oven, stir thoroughly, and return to oven for approximately 10 minutes till mixture is golden brown. Remove from oven and stir in fruit. Allow mixture to cool completely and store in airtight container lined with paper towels for up to 2 weeks. NOTE any mixture of nuts can be used.

VAIN Products Used: 

Gluten-Free Granola

Hot Chocolate Cookies


Courtesy of Julie Mulhern

For the cookies – 

½ cup unsalted butter
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1½ cups flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons VAIN Madagascar Vanilla extracted in Cane Rum
1 bag mini marshmallows

For the glaze – 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup hot water
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon VAIN Madagascar vanilla


For the cookies -

In a small sauce pan melt the butter then whisk in the chocolate chips until smooth. Let cool.
Sift together dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt).
In a standard mixer combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy.
Mix the cooled chocolate into the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 325F
Line a baking sheet with parchment and spoon out 1 tablespoon of dough rolled into a ball. Flatten slightly.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes
Remove from oven and top each cookie with 3 mini marshmallows.
Bake an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove cookies from oven and cool on a wire rack.

For the glaze - 

In a medium bowl combine the melted butter, cocoa powder, hot water, and vanilla.
Sift in the powder sugar and stir until combined.
Lay a piece of parchment paper under the cooling rack holding the cookies.
Drizzle each cookie with glaze and, while the glaze is wet, sprinkle with sprinkles.
Let glaze set for at least 30 minutes.

Keep cookies in an airtight container.

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Icebox Chocolate Cheesecake


70 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (from 2 packages)

Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup chocolate syrup, such as Hershey's

1 tsp. Vain Mexican Vanilla extracted in Cane Rum


Put 20 of the chocolate cookies (reserving 50 whole cookies) into a zippered plastic bag and, using a rolling pin, crush them to fine crumbs. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with enough plastic wrap to extend by 4 inches all around.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the chocolate syrup, Vain vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of water and beat the chocolate cream for 2 minutes. 

Arrange 9 cookies in an overlapping ring on the bottom of the prepared cake pan and place 1 cookie in the center. Spoon one-fourth of the chocolate cream (about 1 1/4 cups) over the cookies, being careful not to disturb them. Repeat with the remaining cookies and chocolate cream, ending with a layer of 10 cookies on top. Fold the plastic wrap over the top of the cake. Lightly tap the pan once or twice on a work surface. Refrigerate the cake for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight.

Peel back the plastic wrap and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Carefully peel off the plastic wrap. Press the cookie crumbs onto the side of the cake to coat evenly. Cut into wedges and serve.

The plastic-wrapped cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Icebox Chocolate Cheesecake

Iced Coffee with Maple Vanilla


Iced Coffee Concentrate:


3 oz freshly ground (course grind) coffee beans

3-4 cups water

1 tsp VAIN Tahitian Vanilla Extracted in Cane Rum

2 tsp pure maple syrup



In a 1 quart glass jar, place the coffee grounds, vanilla, and maple syrup.  Add water to fill the jar.  Stir to combine.  Refrigerate the jar 18-24 hours.  Strain the liquid into another jar or bowl using a mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth.  press the grounds to release all the liquid and flavor.  

Dilute the concentrate over ice with water or milk for a latte to your desired strength.  A good starting place is 5 oz concentrate to 3 oz water or milk.  

Iced Coffee with Maple Vanilla

Island Macaroons


1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 bag Angel Flake coconut (14 oz.)

2/3 Cup All-purpose flour

pinch salt

1 Tablespoon VAIN Vanilla Extract (we prefer Indonesian Vanilla Extracted in Cane Rum)


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill for 30 minutes.


Scoop or spoon onto parchment lined baking sheet.


Bake in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Cool on rack. Store in airtight container.

VAIN Products Used: 

Island Macaroons

Judy's Chocolate Orange Cheesecake


5 ounces or 1 Cup Graham Crackers (can use crumbs)

8 Tbsp, divided Butter

1 Cup + 5 Tbs Sugar

1 Cup Hazelnuts, chopped

4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate

1/4 Cup heavy cream

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp VAIN Uganda Vanilla extracted in Orange Spirits

3 packages cream cheese

3 eggs

grated peel of orange

16 ounces sour cream


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread chopped hazelnuts on half sheet pan and toast for 10-15 minutes, until brown. Stir every 3-5 minutes.

Bring cream cheese and sour cream to room temperature. Cut the cheese horizontally into 5 or 6 slices.

2. After removing hazelnuts from oven, increase temperature to 375 degrees. Reduce graham crackers to crumbs, I use a food processor, but a ziploc and a rolling pin work, too!

Combine the crumbs with 7 Tbsp melted butter, 2 Tbsp sugar and the toasted hazelnuts. Pat down to form a crust in a 9-inch springform pan, preferably non-stick. Bake 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Heat heavy cream in microwave for 30 seconds.

3. Break 4 oz. of chocolate into small pieces and heat with 1 Tbsp butter in a double-boiler over barely simmering water. When the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth, add hot cream. Pour the mixture into the springform pan almost to the edges of the crust. This will produce a very firm chocolate layer.

Melted chocolate seizes when liquid is added to it. If a softer chocolate layer is preferred, melt 6 oz. of chocolate and when smooth, add 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. yogurt or sour cream.

4. Add the cream cheese to a food processor by dropping the slices in while motor is running. Alternate the cheese with 1 cup of sugar, 3 eggs, and 1 tsp. VAIN extract. Stop the motor periodically and run a spatula through the mixture. Mix the grated orange peel and 1 Tbsp VAIN extract into the cheese mixture with a spatula.

Pour the liquid cheese mixture into the springform pan. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove the cake and let it cool slightly while making the sour cream topping.

5. Heat the oven to 500 degrees F. Let ethe cake cool so that the top surface is fairly solid. Combine 16 oz. of sour cream, 3 Tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp. of VAIN vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Bake at 500 degrees for 5 minutes.

Remove the cake and let it cool to room temperature on a rack. Place uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating. Enjoy!

Judy's Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Key Lime Pie


9" graham cracker or gingersnap pie shell

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

3 egg yolks (whites not used)

12 cup Key Lime Juice - I used Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice



Combine milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating. Just before serving, top with freshly whipped cream and garnish with lime slices.

Key Lime Pie

King Cake



1 (16-ounce) container full-fat sour cream

1/3 cup sugar 

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon salt 

2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast 

1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°) 

1 Tablespoon sugar 

2 large eggs, at room temp, lightly beaten 

6 to 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour 

3/4 cup sugar



2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 

1 cup  toasted pecan pieces

1 large egg 

1 Tablespoon Vain vanilla extract 



3 cups powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon Vain Vanilla Extract

3-5 Tablespoons whole milk

Mix ingredients together, add milk 1 Tablespoon at a time as needed till desired consistency is achieved.


Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 Tablespoon sugar and let stand 5 minutes until foamy.

Melt Butter.  Combine sour cream, sugar, melted butter, and salt and beat together until smooth.


Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Replace paddle on mixer with a dough hook, reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.

Once dough comes together increase speed to medium and mix 5-7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Beat 3/4 cup sugar, cream cheese, 1 egg, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on each dough rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders.


Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.

Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.


Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes). Drizzle glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.

VAIN Products Used: 

King Cake



4 eggs, separated

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

2/3 cup white sugar

1 1/2 t VAIN vanilla extract, any variety

7/8 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Line two 17 x 12 inch baking sheets with baking parchment. Fit large pastry bag with a plain 1/2 inch round tube.

Place egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl and beat on high until soft peaks start to form. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy. In another bowl beat egg yolks, vanilla extract, and remaining sugar. Whip until very thick and very pale in color.

Sift flour and baking powder together on a sheet of wax paper. Fold half the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Fold in flour, and then add the remaining egg whites. Transfer mixture to pastry bag and pipe out onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes.

VAIN Products Used: