Nielsen Massey review: ‘Tis the season for a holiday giveaway – and vegan pastries!

Every year around the holiday season, the same question pops up: What should I bake? There’s so much to do and so little time – and as much as I’d love to spend days trying, tasting, and perfecting new recipes in the kitchen, that really isn’t possible. Unavoidably, I revert to a few foolproof family recipes, and I build my menu around them for certainty and peace of mind. I do love some peace of mind in the midst of the holiday shopping/cooking craziness, lol

How do I reinvent my family recipes, and step them up a notch? The answer is simple: I work on their spice content, fine-tuning it until my family (aka testers 😉) approve of it. And when it comes to spices, there’s no better ally in the kitchen than Nielsen-Massey Vanillas and their wonderful range of products.Β 

I have been incorporating Nielsen-Massey extracts into my family’s recipes for a few years now (some of my previous reviews can be found here, here, and here). Nielsen-Massey Vanillas contacted me again recently and offered to send me products from their Holiday Bundle to review and give away.

Every year Nielsen Massey puts together a holiday bundle, and this year makes no exception. The 2019 Holiday Flavors Bundle includes some of their most popular extracts: Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract (which boasts a full, sweet, creamy and mellow flavor with velvety after-tones); Pure Peppermint ExtractΒ (which sports a refreshing vibrant flavor, and is great in both sweet and savory applications); Pure Almond Extract (which provides a sweet, nutty flavor, and is a perfect complement to chocolate, maple and butterscotch).

For this review I received the Madagascar vanilla and almond extracts.

I couldn’t wait to work with both of these products!

For this post I decided to revisit one of my mother-in-law’s recipes, which I posted on this blog awhile ago. The recipe may look very laborious to you, but I can assure you the end result is so worth it! Originally, this is a strudel recipe; however, on this occasion I decided to take the strudel dough and to use it in a novel way, to make jam filled tiny vegan pastries which are very popular in my home country. I used Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla extract in the dough.

The filling was a mixture of homemade plum jam and chopped nuts. You can use any jam you have in the pantry – the more tartness, the better.

After rolling the dough on a flat surface and cutting it into small squares (size is up to you – but remember the smaller the squares, the quicker they bake), I put about 1 tbsp of the jam & nut mixture on top of each square.

At this point I could almost taste the soon-to-come deliciousness. Mmmmmm…

I rolled the squares to make cigarette-shaped pastries, which I placed on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

I put the pan in the preheated oven and baked the pastries for about 25 minutes or until golden-brown and bubbling. I then took them out of the oven.

I let the pastries cool down, and generously sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

I served the pastries with hot chocolate, in which I poured 1/8 tsp Nielsen Massey almond extract. Vanilla + almond = the perfect spice match!

These pastries exhibited a delicious vanilla flavor and aroma, and were moist and not overly sweet. They kept well on the kitchen countertop for several days, stored in a bowl covered with a towel. Since I cut the dough into very small pieces, I ended up getting over 80 pastries (obviously, the smaller the pieces, the more pastries you’re gonna end up with). My family loved this reinvention of a much treasured recipe, and appreciated the pairing of the tart plum jam with the delicate, floral vanilla flavor. With Nielsen Massey products on hand, making a flawless dessert cannot be easier!

You are welcome to check out Nielsen-Massey’s website for exciting recipes, as well as baking tips and demos. You can also head to my Instagram account and enter my giveaway for a chance to win a combo of Nielsen-Massey products similar to the one I reviewed.

Good luck! 🙂

Print Recipe
Vegan jam filled pastries
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 45 minutes
Servings
pastries
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 45 minutes
Servings
pastries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Put 2 cups flour in a bowl. In a separate cup combine the dry yeast with 1 tbsp water, and stir with a spoon until the yeast dissolves. Add the yeast&water mixture to the flour, then add 1/2 cup vegetable oil, vanilla extract, 1 cup water, and salt. Mix the resulting dough until smooth and homogeneous. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup flour in a bowl. Add 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and then mix (I used a fork for mixing). Continue adding the remaining flour and oil slowly, alternating between the two. This resulting dough #2 must have a sour cream-like consistency.
  3. Take the first dough you worked on and roll it on a dry surface with a rolling pin until about 1/4in thin. Spread dough #2 evenly on top of it, using a fork. Roll the resulting (combined) dough into a cylinder. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. During this time, mix the jam and chopped nuts in a medium bowl until homogeneous.
  4. Roll the resulting dough on a dry flat surface with a rolling pin until about 1/4in thin. Cut the dough into small squares (size is up to you - but remember the smaller the squares, the quicker they bake). Put about 1 tbsp of the jam & nut mixture on top of each square. Roll the squares to make cigarette-shaped pastries, and place them in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Put the pan in the oven and bake the pastries for about 25 minutes or until golden-brown and bubbling. Take the pastries out of the oven and cool down. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  5. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: While I received complimentary products to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed here are my own.


Leave a Reply