Saturday, February 8, 2014

Villa Vanilla 'Foodie Tour'

After the guided plantation tour at Villa Vanilla where we enjoyed the aromas of tropical spices and the lush greenery of exotic ornamental plants and orchids, we ended up in this elevated pavilion overlooking the rainforest where we would sample a delicious assortment of gourmet treats that featured the spices; chocolate, Ceylon cinnamon and vanilla, that we had just seen growing.

Our tour guide and foodie host served us an assortment of treats from Vanilla Bean Ice Cream to Oatmeal Cocoa Nib Cookies, Spicy Chocolate Allspice Cookies, and Hot Cinnamon Chocolate.

Spicy Chocolate Allspice Cookie
1 c. + 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3/4 c. melted butter
1/2 c. whipped butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1/4 Tbs. salt
1/2 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 Tbs. baking soda
1 Tbs. Ceylon cinnamon powder
1-1/2 Tbs. Vanilla extract
1 Tbs. Allspice powder
Blend all ingredients. Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

 Oatmeal Cocoa-Nib Cookies
1 c. butter softened
1 c. sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla
2 eggs
2-1/4 c. flour
1 Tbs. each baking powder and ground cinnamon
3/4 Tbs. baking soda
1/2 Tbs. salt
2-1/4 c. quick cooking rolled oats
1 c. chopped cocoa nibs
Blend all ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
The foodie tour ends at this pavilion where you had the opportunity to purchase large fresh Vanilla Beans, 100% pure Costa Rican Vanilla Extract, powdered cayenne pepper, peppercorns, Cocoa Nibs and more. Since we enjoyed the Oatmeal Cocoa Nib Cookies, I purchased several bags of the Cocoa Nibs, which are cracked and roasted cocoa beans. The packaging states they are good for the heart, bones and arteries. It suggests you enjoy them as a plain snack for a rich energy boost or simply sprinkle on your favorite granola or cereal. Add the cocoa nibs to a smoothie, or substitute for nuts, adding them to cookies and baked goods, or toss into a salad. The delicious chocolate fragrance has me simply sniffing them!


Marilyn said...

What a treat! And I would be sniffing them alot. Love where the tour ended and the sun does look good about now.

Time Traveling in Costume said...

I wished I'd known about Costa Rican vanilla when we were there. I bought the chocolate but didn't know about that. Sounds lovely.

Angela McRae said...

I have been reading a lot about cocoa nibs lately, so it's nice to learn they are healthy as well!