Nielsen Massey Fine Vanillas and Flavors knows that food is a big part of the history of New Orleans and Mardi Gras celebration. Having southern roots, I totally agree.
Celebrating the end of the season of Carnival, Mardi Gras has been a state holiday in Louisiana since the 19th century. Steeped in rich traditions, New Orleans is a city full of sights, sounds, and flavors that you can bring into your home this Mardi Gras season.
My family did not attend Mardi Gras this year, but we did sample Nielsen Massey Fine Vanillas. I try to bake something every week. I wanted to try my hand at some of great Mardi Gras recipes. Some people may call them southern or creole recipes, either way I have included a recipe below. I have not tried it, but definitely plan to. I made something else instead, and really liked the madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract. I have never tried vanilla paste, but am looking forward to trying the madagascar bourbon pure vanilla bean paste. Due to its thick consistency, similar to molasses, this culinary paste enables you to add more delicious vanilla flavor without thinning out your batters or sauces. It’s also ideal for recipes, such as crème brûlée and ice cream, in which you want to add the enticing visual flair of vanilla seeds. Now, I am really looking forward to trying the paste. I want to surprise my father with my new recipe and what ever I choice to make with the paste, when he comes to visit. My schedule has been a little rushed so, I did not prepare the recipe below, but plan to do so when I have time to focus on it.
For a sweet end to your celebration, try the recipe below for Vanilla Beignet Bites with Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Pure Vanilla Powder add a sweet twist to this New Orleans classic that is sure to please your guests.
Vanilla Beignet Bites with Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam
(Yield 6 dozen)
Vanilla Beignet Bites
¼ cup warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup half-and-half
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar; set aside to activate yeast. In a medium bowl, add butter, half-and-half and vanilla extract; stir and set aside. In a small bowl whisk eggs; set aside.
In a bowl of a free standing electric mixer, add flour, sugar, salt and cardamom. Place bowl on mixer stand which has been fitted with a dough hook. Turn mixer on low speed and combine dry ingredients.
Turn mixer to medium speed then add activated yeast mixture. Add half-and-half mixture, then add the whisked eggs. Mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. Dough will be slightly sticky.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead, about 2-3 minutes; adding additional flour only when needed.
Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and keep warm until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours. After dough has risen, place on a lightly floured surface and gently knead. Roll dough into a rectangle, about ¼-inch thick. With a pizza cutter, cut dough into small rectangles, about 1 x ½-inch pieces.
Heat oil to 375°F; carefully place dough in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 45-60 seconds. Turn beignets so both sides are golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels; dust with Vanilla Powdered Sugar while bites are still warm. Dip Vanilla Beignet Bites in Nielsen-Massey’s signature Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam.
Vanilla Powdered Sugar (Yield ½ cup sugar)
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and vanilla powder.
Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam (Yield 1 cup jam)
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract
In a small bowl, add jam, vanilla and lemon extracts. Whisk until jam is smooth and serve with warm Vanilla Beignet Bites. Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam can be refrigerated and also served with whole grain toast, English muffins or scones.
I cannot wait to prepare this and invite my parents over. My father will definitely have a taste of home and the spirit of Mardi Gras and with great pure vanilla.
Disclosure: Product/compensation was received in exchange for review.
Don’t be afraid to be free!!!