Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
This exceptionally creamy ice cream relies on two unexpected ingredients: corn starch (to help thicken it) and cream cheese (to make it scoopable).
Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Caramels
F&W's Grace Parisi experiments with ever-versatile caramel to make these chewy candies.
Vanilla Semifreddo and Orange Sorbet Terrine
Reminiscent of a Creamsicle, this creamy, tangy terrine can be made with a shortcut: store-bought orange sorbet.
Incredibly, these light, crispy and fragrant crescent cookies require only five ingredients to make.
Vanilla Bean-Whipped Sweet Potatoes
New York chef Gerry Hayden, a friend of Michael Mina, was staying with the family one Christmas and contributed this side dish to the holiday meal. Everybody fell for the combination of creamy pureed potato and fragrant vanilla.
Vanilla and Cranberry Panna Cotta Parfaits
This dessert is made up of two elements—creamy vanilla panna cotta and a clear cranberry jelly. Alison Attenborough created a graphic look by tilting the plastic glasses at a 45-degree angle as the first two layers are poured and allowed to set.
Buttery Vanilla Shortbread
The shortbread can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Gerald Hirigoyen's airy beignets (doughnuts) can be deep-fried a few hours in advance and recrisped in the oven just before serving.
Vanilla-and-Cider Panna Cottas with Spiced Ginger Cookies
Shawn McClain tops his cinnamon-and-vanilla-flavored panna cotta with an elegant apple-cider gelée. He equates the dessert to a Creamsicle because it successfully combines creamy and tangy flavors.
"We use Madagascan or Tahitian vanilla beans in our cocktails," says Mas co-owner Thomas Wilson. "They are extraordinarily expensive but really make the drink."
Gale Gand's Sugar-Dusted Vanilla Ricotta Fritters
Gale Gand, an F&W Best New Chef 1994, is the executive pastry chef and a partner at Tru in Chicago. She's also the host of Food Network's Sweet Dreams. Her follow-up to the cookbook Gale Gand's Short + Sweet is a collection of recipes from Tru. Gand got this recipe from her mother-in-law, Vita Seidita; the fritters are also good sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or dipped in jelly.
Vanilla Zabaglione with Raspberries
The ethereal Italian dessert sauce zabaglione (known in French as sabayon) consists of egg yolks beaten with sugar and the Sicilian fortified dessert wine Marsala. Steeping vanilla seeds in the Marsala adds lovely flavor; folding in whipped cream increases the decadence factor.
Some vanilla extract recipes call for rum or brandy, but Rachael Narins and Suzanne Griswold prefer vodka because the neutral spirit lets the vanilla flavor shine through. Their bean of choice is Mexican. "It's more local for us," says Narins. "It also has a spicy, robust flavor that's great in extract."
Vanilla Tapioca Pudding
Chef Louis Lambert believes that the best way to finish off a spicy meal is with a cool and creamy custard. He combined his grandmother's tapioca recipe and his own recipe for crème brûlée to make this super-rich pudding.
Yellow Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting
This incredibly simple recipe from Grace Parisi makes a great summer dessert.
This thick, creamy flan—Jose Garces's mother's recipe—is a staple in his household. Garces likes to serve it alongside a refreshing salad of melon and citrus.