Archive for April, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

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Sari and I wanted to make cinnamon rolls for brunch with our parents, but yeasted pastry breads often take so long to rise it can be frustrating to make them for breakfast. But I’ve discovered that you can do most of the rising the night before, stick the rolls in the fridge overnight, and voilà! You stick them in the oven first thing in the morning, and out come piping hot cinnamon rolls! The cinnamon-sugar filling will still be gooey and the bread tender and fluffy. And slathered with cream cheese icing, what could be better?

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I’ve used a similar recipe before, for my Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, and the original recipe that I was inspired by can be found here.

Dough:
1 package Active Dry Yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk), heated to lukewarm
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3/4 Cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 Cup Earth Balance, melted
1 Tblsp. white sugar

Filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice

Frosting:
1/4 cup Earth Balance, softened
4 ounces Tofutti cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and the warm milk alternative, and let it sit for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in the banana with the yeast, as well as the melted Earth Balance, and sugar. Add half of the flour mixture to your mixing bowl and stir to combine. Slowly mix in the rest of the flour until a nice dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it for 10 minutes, adding more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to keep it from sticking to your hands. You should end up with a fairly soft dough that is just slightly sticky. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.

Punch the dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. While that is resting, combine the filling ingredients to make a sugar cream – but leave chopped walnuts out of this mixture at this point.

Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Spread filling on liberally, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Roll up the rectangle tightly, from the long side, pinch the seam to seal, dabbing it with a bit of water if needed. Cut the roll into 12 even slices. Place the slices in a greased pan. Give them a little bit of space, as they will rise (but it’s okay if they touch during baking, then you will get soft fluffy pull-apart outsides). Cover with plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge to rise overnight.

In the morning, pull the cinnamon rolls from the fridge and place them on top of the stove while you preheat the oven to 375ºF. Bake them for 20-25 minutes, or until they are a light golden brown (I like them on the less browned side).

While the cinnamon rolls are baking, you can mix together your cream cheese frosting. Cream together all the ingredients and make sure it’s light and fluffy. Spread thick on top of your warm rolls, and eat immediately!

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Lemon Bars

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I recently found a tree in my neighborhood that is bearing the largest most beautiful lemons by the hundreds, and they are falling to the ground all over the place. To aid this problem, I have taken to pilfering a few lemons at a time during nighttime walks. What to do with them? Clearly, lemon bars were the answer. This recipe is from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. They are delicious and melt in your mouth and not-too-sweet, not-too-tart, perfectly balanced and gooey. Mmmm.

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“Cupcakes Take The Cake” Spotlight!

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This is not technically a baking-related post…But I wanted to thank Rachel from Cupcakes Take The Cake for spotlighting me on the blog that she and her friends run! You can see her write-up about my cupcakes and photos here. I feel very famous, fabulous, and honored after seeing this! Everyone should go check out their blog (http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/) to see a great collection of amazing cupcake creations being made around the world. Thanks again Rachel!

Bran Muffins

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Julie and I baked some hearty bran muffins yesterday that were perfect for a healthy dessert as well as a scrumptious breakfast this morning! The recipe we used is very versatile; you can add whatever mix-ins you would like to the batter (we used golden raisins in all of them, and added small pieces of candied ginger and chopped walnuts to some). They only have a little sugar in the batter, but they also have banana which adds sweetness too – however, the sprinkle of brown sugar on top was a great addition, and added some crunch to the topping.

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Ingredients:
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup wheat bran
2 tablespoons flax seed
4 tablespoons warm water
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup golden raisins, and you can really add any mix-ins you want

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray muffin tin or put in paper liners.
Sift together flour, bran, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Grind flax seeds, and put the flax with warm water in a blender. Blend until it has a gummy consistency, and then add the remaining ingredients to blender, blend until smooth, and then add to the dry ingredients. Mix just until moistened – don’t overmix. Fold in the raisins and any other fillings you want. Fill muffin tins almost full.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

My mentee requested White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies this week for our photo-mentoring meeting, and so I went all out to make them for her! I made vegan white chocolate and chopped it into chunks to mix into the batter. I like my cookies soft and chewy, and so the crunch of the macadamia nuts was a nice contrast.

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Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine), softened
1/2 cup vegan shortening
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer, blended till frothy with 2 Tblsp. warm water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
6 oz. vegan white chocolate, cut into chunks (or use chips)
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat sugars, margarine, shortening, vanilla and blended Egg Replacer in large bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. The dough will be stiff. Stir in white chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Cool 1 to 2 minutes on the pan, then move cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

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White Chocolate

I made white chocolate from scratch using another always-fabulous Hannah Kaminsky recipe. It was truly delightful tasting – while I have always savored memories of loving white chocolate as a kid, I have not liked it’s super sweet taste for a long time (and I haven’t had any at all since before I became vegan, since it is harder to find vegan versions in local stores). The outcome of this recipe was creamy and delicious, and much less “too sweet” than I recall the white chocolate of my childhood tasting like.

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This is another gluten- and leavening-free (read: Passover-friendly) recipe! We were actually making these cookies for my friend Corrie’s mom who can’t eat gluten, but has been craving chocolate chip cookies. I thought I could help with that, and that’s how the baking project began…I had never baked with Quinoa Flour before, but wanted to experiment, so I think that’s why these cookies came out a little more dense and less like a traditional homestyle chocolate chip cookies. It is definitely more hardy, but still delicious. In fact, the friends I made them with ate them all before having time to give them to the mom they were destined for, so they have requested the recipe so they can make them again! The recipe is based on the chocolate chip cookie recipe posted by Isa on the Post Punk Kitchen website (the original can be found here). Since this time, I wanted it to be gluten-free and have no leavening, I made some changes…Next time if I am baking them and they don’t need to be leavening-free, I would probably add about 3/4 teaspoon or so of baking soda to give a little more puffiness to the baked cookies. Here is my adapted recipe:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 white sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Tblsp. potato starch
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup Quinoa Flour
1/2 cup Sweet White Rice Flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two large light metal baking sheets.

Mix together sugars, oil, milk and potato starch in a mixing bowl. Use a strong fork and mix really well, for about 2 minutes, until it resembles smooth caramel. There is a chemical reaction when sugar and oil collide, so it’s important that you don’t get lazy about that step. Mix in the vanilla.

Add the quinoa flour, sweet white rice flour, and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Drop spoonfuls of dough in about walnut size balls onto the pan. Because there is no leavening, these cookies will stay the same shape during baking, so you can press them flatter or leave them rounded – whatever you like. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until they are just a little browned around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

And another picture, just for silliness: Corrie had the camera, and so we made cookie-heads!

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