Oct 2, 2012

‘Pure Vanilla’ Has Landed (with a Giveaway!)

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Well,  friends, today is the day–the birthday of my second cookbook Pure Vanilla! (WHAT?! Unreal.) I really couldn’t be more excited about the whole thing. I thought I’d pop in here right quick to say hello, spread the sweet, dreamy word of the book release, and, most importantly, give you all a little preview, with a shot to win a free signed copy of your own. Hooray!

As much as I adore my first book Marshmallow Madness! (and lo, much like a first-born child, I do), I have to say that I am that much more excited about this second book. See, this book allowed me to explore all kinds of new territory and really dig into the world of vanilla beyond just recipe development. The insane history and the painstaking process of how vanilla begins as a little pod in the center of an exotic orchid and manages to travel all the way to that little brown bottle on the supermarket shelf is pretty dang interesting. If nothing else, it makes your eyes pop out a little less while marveling at the sky high price tag of premium vanilla products.

Like mothering my own crazy human child, I will always have a soft spot for the way that I was endlessly surprised while working through this book. Perfect example: see the little raised, dotted areas on the vanilla beans below? They are called vanilla tattoos–upon harvesting, each bean is hand-stamped with a sort of “brand” unique to each vanilla grower, to keep the beans from being stolen during the lengthy, many months-long curing and conditioning process. I KNOW, right?!

Just to stretch out that first book vs. second book comparison a little further, there’s this: I am so pumped about the variety of recipes I got to develop for this guy (Breakfast! Cakes! Cookies! Savory! BOOZE!). After a lifetime of just using vanilla extract and the occasional scraped whole bean in recipes, I became positively obsessed with working with all forms of vanilla, including pastes and ground beans, and really working to offer tons of helpful tips that can help you maximize your investment when you shell out for great vanilla products (or even just pointing out better ways to use the regular stuff from the supermarket), and eke as much flavor as possible out of whatever form of vanilla you’re using. (Psst…I also give my recommendations for the best sources for great vanilla that won’t make your wallet cry.) Of course, we also chat about how to make your own awesome vanilla projects, perfectly suitable for gifting, like homemade vanilla sugar and extracts.

And then we’ve got to talk about the aesthetics of this book. Oh, people. I’ve flipped through it millions of times and I still sigh a little at the images shot by the amazing Leigh Beisch and art direction and styling by Sara Slavin. The days spent shooting this book were some of the best of my life, no joke–creativity buzzing about, running from the kitchen to the studio space to check out the action, frosting smeared on my face, vanilla caviar under my nails for days on end. Being able to do the food styling again for this book was awesome, but bringing it to set and watching Leigh and Sara bring everything to life was magical. Like this Vanilla Cloud Cake for starters (which I know I shared in my last post, but really, THIS CAKE IS MY LIFE).

Vanilla Stewed Fruit. Something that, from the outset, may seem a touch, oh, geriatric at first. But man, oh, man, it is ever good. Over yogurt with a smattering of Honey-Vanilla Granola Clusters? Forget about it.

I also loved that this book allowed me to riff on some family favorites, real soul-soothing recipes that are delicious, but also really personal to me, like these Cherry-Vanilla Shortbread Cake Squares. I literally teared up when we were shooting these. I’ve got problems.

And of course, I couldn’t get away with not including a Candy and Confections section. These recipes are crying out for gifting all throughout the fall and hoilday seasons. Glorious!

When you get a sec, check out my Book page for more info on upcoming tour dates and Vanilla Tasting events! I really, really hope to meet more of you on this tour. There will be a few stops where I’ll be bringing several varieties of vanilla for tasting, so you, too, can have your mind blown by how vast the world of vanilla really is. It will be like wine tasting, without the day buzz. (Sorry.) (But you can bring a flask if you want!)

To celebrate the release of this creamy, dreamy tome, I’m giving away five signed copies! If you want to get in on it, here’s what to do:

1. Share this post on Twitter or The Facebooks

2. Leave a comment here letting me know you’ve done so, and tell me about your favorite recipe that features vanilla!

Entries must be received by Thursday, October 11th at 6:00 p.m. PST. Winners will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, October 12th. I will ship to the winners wherever they may be, so international bakers are welcome!!

The giveaway is now closed! Thanks for entering! Winners will be announced tomorrow, Friday, October 1oth.

  • Congrats on your book release!! I am definitely going to check it out! We love vanilla in our household, putting it in everything from homemade vanilla whipped cream to my Grandmother’s rice pudding recipe! I shared on FB ;0)

  • I am not a fancy baker, but this summer I got really into making my own rice pudding! I usually flavored it with vanilla extract, sometimes a splash of almond as well. Looking forward to expanding my vanilla repertoire!

  • I shared on Facebook, and my favorite vanilla recipe is definitely for homemade vanilla ice cream.

  • I shared your link on FB. I am a Vanilla Girl – while everyone does cartwheels for chocolate I’m busy eating everything vanilla!!!!! I have this GREAT Vanilla Powder (Atlantic Spice Co., MA) that I add to my tea to give it extra yummy power! I add a little (ok a lot) of vanilla powder in addition to vanilla extract when I am baking!! Congrats on this book! I find much joy in your blog – thank you!!!!

  • Hi Shauna! I am soooooo excited for this book– I can’t wait to crack it open! I definitely love me some chocolate, but I’m a *little* obsessed with vanilla… It’s cool that other people understand. 😉 I posted your link on my Facebook page, and I’m looking forward to posting some recipes from the book on my new baking blog, Stellina Sweets (stellinasweets.com)! Congrats on the release of your second book– I hope to attend one of the tour stops and meet you! 🙂

  • Congratulations! The book looks beautiful. I mean, serious vanilla-scented swoon-worthiness going on. I love that you got to explore the world of vanilla beyond the pantry, so fascinating! I love just about anything Vanilla, but good ol’ homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream has got to be in the top three faves, for sure. Sharing this on my blog’s FB page! 🙂

  • Congrats on your book! So exciting!

  • Not only do I badly want this book, but my boyfriend would be utterly disappointed if he found out I didn’t try to win this giveaway! He’s an AVID vanilla man, always requesting vanilla-this vanilla-that treats 🙂 My favorite thing I’ve ever made him was a White Out Birthday Cake, which was a vanilla cake filled with a vanilla pastry cream and vanilla frosting. He loved it! I tweeted this give away, here’s to hoping I win!

  • I shared this on Twitter and my favorite recipe is creme brulee!

  • Oh this book looks so pretty. I loved Marshmallow Madness. In fact, marshmallows might be my favorite vanilla treat! I also love homemade vanilla ice cream, with those perfect little vanilla bean specks. Delicious.

    Oh, and tweeted! https://twitter.com/MsCewsh/status/253207815680835584

  • Oh PURELY DIVINE! Congrats on your latest book release!
    It looks like another one for my kitchen bookshelf!!

  • I just tweeted! BTW, I loved your marshmallow book!

  • I’ve already shared it on Twitter! 🙂 This book looks so perfect, I hope it will be released in Spain, because I sure want to buy it!
    My favourite vanilla recipe is simple vanilla bean cake layers with vanilla bean buttercream. A classic perfect for any occassion!

  • Tweeted successfully.

    I must say, my favorite vanilla recipe is probably cookies as a whole, but in terms of less common uses, I really like using vanilla as a flavor when making syrups and glazes.

  • Shared it on my FB 🙂 Anything vanilla is good by me!! But a good vanilla bean cheesecake or even some fresh berries on top of a healthy 2-scoops of vanilla ice cream would do!

  • I shared on Twitter! And my favorite recipe using vanilla is actually homemade vanilla extract!

  • gorgeous looking book ! Hope it will be available in Belgium or Holland soon !
    My favorite vanilla recipe is vanilla cheesecake !
    Shared in on twitter !

  • Congratulations! I shared on Twitter & Facebook. I love infusing sugar with vanilla – it’s lovely for baking and in tea.

  • Congrats on the fab book! 🙂
    Just shared on FB, i looove vanilla and my fav is vanilla macarons!

  • Shared this on FB. Love vanilla – especially in my vanilla sponge cake

  • Facebooked! Way to go, Shauna.

  • Re-tweeted your announcement; congratulations. One of my favorite vanilla recipes is the Vanilla Dream cupcake, which I believe is a Sweetapolita offering. My friends and family love those goodies!

  • I tweeted and my favorite recipe is Pizzelle cookies.

  • Facebooked. Congratulations on a sweet result! I scream for vanilla ice-cream…

  • Um, now I’m even MORE excited about your cookbook!!! Man, it’s gorgeous!!!

  • I shared it on Facebook. I am so excited about this cookbook. I adore vanilla, so pretty much anything with it in it is my favorite. But I think a perfectly wonderful vanilla cupcake is high on the list. Congrats!

  • I shared your link on my facebook and on my twitter. I love vanilla, especially in a vanilla salted caramel.

    Hope I get to check out your book!

  • I shared your link on Twitter! And I have to say, my favorite recipe with vanilla is the classic vanilla-on-vanilla cupcake. Vanilla frosting on vanilla cake!

  • shared on twitter! love using vanilla to spice up lain oatmeal or smoothies!

  • Shared on twitter. My favorite recipe with vanilla is vanilla bean cheesecake, pure bliss! I love chocolate but i’ll always be team vanilla

  • Congratulations! Your new book looks amazing – I too shared on FB.
    My favorite vanilla recipe is Graham Cracker Cream Pie.

  • Shauna – we are kindred spirits! Love marshmallow and vanilla. So excited for the 2nd book! My fav vanilla recipe is your vanilla marshmallows. 2nd runner up is my vanilla layer cake, with butter, vanilla beans, +pure extract. Topped with vanilla marshmallow frosting. Mmm!

  • I’ve shared the news on facebook and I would really love to win this magical book. I adore vanilla!

  • I liked you on Facebook and helped spread the word that Pure Vanilla has landed! Hurrah!!

  • I shared your post on Facebook! Being totally honest, I’m more of a chocolate girl, dark to be exact, but I love the addition of vanilla to nearly anything I’m baking. I’ve to learn more about the power of vanilla on its own though. Congrats on the book!

  • Shared your post on Facebook!

  • Shared on Facebook……but forgot to tell you vanilla bean ice cream or creme brulee would be my favs.

  • Shared this on my facebook “Nix Tann” as well as on my twitter @candacetann ! I collect signed cookbooks (only those that appeal to me, not just any random book) dating back to the mid sixties and would love nothing more than a SIGNED copy of Pure Vanilla from one of my favorite bakers (that would be you)!! All the way in Mississippi and living vicariously through Piece of Cake!
    * My favorite recipe using Vanilla would be Bananas Foster w/ Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

  • Congratulations on the book! My favorite thing to make with vanilla is vanilla bean buttercream frosting…yum!

  • shared on fbook.. fav vanilla recipe of all time is vanilla bean creme brulee 🙂

  • I love everything vanilla! Can’t wait to check this book out. Congrats!

  • Congrats…the book looks amazing! I like vanilla ice cream…also buttercream frosting. So hard to choose!

  • I also shared on FB. 🙂

  • Shared post on Facebook, also my favorite recipe is vanilla bean buttercream frosting !!!

  • My favorite recipe with vanilla is: Amish Vanilla Drop Cookies.

  • shared them both on my twitter and on Facebook!
    been looking forward to the cookbook! so excited its finally here!
    My favorite recipe to actually use vanilla in is chocolate chip cookies…..or creme brûlée!.. I always add a little extra to the cookie dough though, I really think it makes the perfect cookie! I hope I win so i can make up some new deelicious recipes!

  • I shared on Facebook and my favorite recipe is vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream!

  • I shared on my Facebook page – so excited for you and to dive into this beautiful book! A recent favorite vanilla recipe is Rhubarb-Vanilla Bean Earl Grey Jam (heavenly on a cream scone with clotted cream!).

  • I shared on facebook! I always add an extra bit of vanilla of homemade vanilla extract to any baked goods when I bake but one of my favorites is a spin on our family key lime pie with a vanilla bean cookie crust instead of graham cracker.

  • Hi I shared with everyone. I would love to win this!!
    Thank you for nsuch a wonderful giveaway

  • Shared on facebook. I am going to go with plain old soft sugar cookies with very vanilla-y frosting. Can’t beat soft cookies!

  • HI Shauna – I shared this on my blog’s facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/KitchenTrialAndError

    I LOVE vanilla, once you’ve tasted real vanilla beans, you can’t go back to the cheap stuff! I love good vanilla extract and beans in homemade french vanilla ice cream. it’s the best.

  • I love vanilla, with cinnamon and cumin are my favorite spices, I love Vanilla cupcakes with coconut frosting.

  • I don’t know how to have a favorite. Anything with vanilla
    is delish

  • HI!! I shared with all my fb friends. I love all things vanilla so it’s very hard for me to decided on just one recipe. Though I will say, I do love a slice of vanilla bean cheesecake.

  • I love to add a little vanilla to my fried apples!
    I retweeted about this giveaway. Thanks for the chance to win such an awesome book!

  • I have shared your giveaway post on fb! Your cookbook looks amazing, as do all of your delicious treats! My favorite thing to make with vanilla is a plain, simple French Vanilla ice cream…with homemade cookie dough bits! YUM!

  • Ohh! pick me! id love to have a copy!!

  • shared on facebook! i loveee vanilla cheesecake or ice cream 🙂

  • Congrats on the new book (love your first book BTW). I shared in on my FB page. My favorite vanilla recipe is Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla frosting (I know I am boring).

  • I tweeted this!! (https://twitter.com/ylimeskoorb/status/254306052978384898) I normally don’t do the giveaways thinking about slim my chances usually are but I really MUST own this book. Which I totally will, win or lose. I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some vanilla. I think it’s completely underrated!

  • My favorite vanilla recipe is vanilla bean ice cream!! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Congratulations on your 2nd book. I love your Marshmallow Madness recipe book and I can’t wait to learn more about Vanilla. I shared this post and giveaway on Twitter: https://twitter.com/uTry_it/status/254822705361195008

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  • I just finished reading my (new to me) copy of Marshmallow Madness and can’t wait to begin creating some great treats from it, and now, I will add Pure Vanilla to my wish list. I’m a newbie at using vanilla beans, but I love making rice pudding and whipped cream with them.
    I shared this post on Facebook.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • Can’t wait to see your new book! My favorite recipe featuring vanilla is good old fashioned tapioca pudding!

  • Forgot to mention that I shared this link on Facebook! 😉

  • Congrats on your book release! This looks like an absolute dandy here 🙂 I personally love vanilla.

  • Congrats on your new book…I have your Marshmallow Madness book and it is awesome.

  • Vanilla bean is my favorite!!

  • my wife has been wanting this book for MONTHS!!!!

  • My daughter always uses vanilla beans, with christmas coming up, she’d love this!!!

  • This looks fantastic! Just shared the link on Facebook. I love anything with vanilla but especially love my vanilla sugar cookies.

  • I have a serious love of vanilla, so I already love your cookbook. My favorite vanilla recipe is definitely vanilla custard. I think because it’s so simple but so delicious and true to the flavor. Can’t wait to read this cookbook!

    Oh and I tweeted the post!

  • My favorite vanilla flavored treat is panna cota…Thanks for the chance to win…e*

  • Congratulations on your new book. Vanilla is my favorite flavor as well. I just bought 1 lb. of Vanilla beans from Amazon.

  • I am so excited about your book! I love using vanilla in frosting!

  • The book looks beautiful! I love all things vanilla! Vanilla marshmallow buttercream frosting is one of my favorites!

  • Hi Shauna,

    I just tweeted and retweeted. My favorite recipe to use vanilla bean is homemade vanilla icecream followed closely by creme brulee.

  • I love a nice, creamy vanilla custard!

  • Done and done! Best way to use vanilla? Vanilla Bean Cheesecake! Mmmmmm!

  • I love vanilla cheesecake and vanilla creme brulee and I would love to win your cookbook, as it looks amazing. I’m posting on Facebook.

  • I tweeted this post. I like to use vanilla bean in buttercream!

  • My sister ordered Pure Vanilla for me for my 4th wedding anniversary! The book is beautiful and I can’t wait to start trying out recipes. Congratulations!

  • Not entering the giveaway because I already have a copy of the book. Read it from cover to cover. It’s gorgeous, informative and inspiring. The recipes are wonderful!

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