Fresh Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy or whipping cream — cold
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Beat the cream in a large chilled mixing bowl until it starts to thicken. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla (if using) while continuing to beat. The whipped cream is ready when it holds a stiff peak. Be sure not to overbeat or you’ll have butter. Makes 1 pint.