Have Yourself a Merry Little Friday!

Happy Friday to you!!

Recipe review time!  I’ve been good and posted up some pretty decent vegan recipes, and now it is time to try out a recipe from someone else!  I found a great little recipe on ohladycakes and just had to try it out.  It is for pumpkin cinnamon roll cookies.  Autumn inspired baking?  I’m IN!

http://www.ohladycakes.com/2011/11/pumpkin-cinnamon-roll-cookies.html

There’s the link that will take you to the original recipe. 

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And this is an example of the final product!  Little yummy tasty nom-noms if you ask me!

I ended up cutting the recipe in half because I just don’t trust myself.  I’d eat the whole batch if it turned out half-way decent.  And let me tell you–they were amazing!  So I’m very glad I don’t have a ton of these little guys sitting around, staring me in the face all weekend, saying “eat me! eat me! eat me!”  ….heh. 

More photos:

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The cookie dough was easy to make and easy to work with.  Plus!

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It rolled out and rolled up like a champ!

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Once chilled, it sliced up like a boss.  Not crumbly, not too sticky…just perfect!

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Waiting to go into the oven!  Look at how lovely.  🙂  I trimmed off the uneven edges and had a little taste of the raw cookie–super yum.  I was pretty excited to see how they would bake up!

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They baked like a boss, too.  The house smelled great and I was literally dancing around the kitchen watching them.  Yes, I like my sweets.  🙂

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Oh wait, you get glaze? Um, yes please! 

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Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh!  …YES. 

This recipe gets high marks for:

1.  Easy.  This recipe, given it has a couple of steps, was still pretty easy.

2.  Taste.  Like heaven! 

3.  Cuteness.  I made my cookies small, about 2 inches by 2 inches.  Easy to pop in your mouth!

4.  Looks impressive.  No joke. 

5.  Originality of recipe.  Pumpkin + cinnamon roll + cookie?  Uh, that’s AWESOME. 

I don’t really think I’d change anything about this recipe.  They could, perhaps be a tad sweeter, but that could mean I just need a wink more glaze.  Uh, more glaze?  Ha, yes please! 😉  Um, I like my sweets. I’d give this recipe a solid 9.5.  It is right on the fringe of getting a 10.  These cookies are pretty addictive.  Make them, share them, and enjoy!

So, here is the actual recipe, if you don’t feel like going and seeing what ohladycakes is up to.  But I honestly recommend going to her site.  She has some really amazing things on there and I want to eat them all!

From OhLadyCakes:

PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLL COOKIES

 

1/2 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup powdered cane sugar
1 tsp unsulphured molasses
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp almond milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
Filling
1 tbsp butter, melted
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Glaze
1/2 cup powdered cane sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp almond milk

 

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, molasses, vanilla extract and milk on high speed for 1-2 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and continue beating for an additional 30-45 seconds. Add the baking soda and salt; mix until combined. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. Mix until all of the flour is incorporated then pinch the dough to test the consistency; it should be smooth and have a bit of elasticity. If it’s too dry, add additional milk, or if it’s too sticky, add additional flour.
Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Roll the dough out into a 10×18 rectangle (approximately 1/4″ thick). Brush with butter then sprinkle with brown sugar (up to 1/2 cup) and cinnamon. Roll dough tightly, starting at the long end, into a log. Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes, or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/2″ segments and line on baking sheet. Bake at 350˚F for 9-10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the glaze by mixing the sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Once the cookies have cooled, drizzle with glaze. Store in an air tight container for up to three days.
Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies
 
 

Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie

Happy Saturday, Everyone!  I hope you all are getting into something fun, relaxing, and generative!

Since autumn has starting showing up all around (though not in the weather today–it is hot and sunny! Poor us, I know!) I have been inspired to make hearty, warming dishes.  When I was a kid, my mom used to make Shepherd’s Pie and since going vegan, it has been something I have tried to recreate.  But, as you other vegans already know, it can get tricky replicating “meat” in a believable and satisfying way. ‘Course, I’m still new to this vegan thing and I know I have lots to learn!

Anyway, I’m very pleased with this recipe–pleased enough to share with you all. 🙂

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May I present for your eating pleasure, Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie!  When my mom made it, she would have the meat gravy under the mashed potatoes, then bake it.  I did not have the patience to do this last night, but I’m sure you could make it that way and bake it–or freeze and bake later when in a pinch for dinner.  This recipe is comprised of two parts–the gravy and the mashed potatoes.  The amounts of each ingredient are flexible, depending on your own person tastes, and I encourage you to play with it to get it just right.  Also, note that this made two large servings, so double the recipe if you want leftovers or have a family.

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Hearty “Meaty” Gravy

1-2 Tbs Olive Oil

1/2 Onion, Diced

3 Cloves Garlic

1/2 Cup Sliced Mushrooms (I like using crimini, but you could use whatever you have handy)

1/2 Package Lentils (I like these–a helpful little cheat when pressed for time!)

1/4 Walnuts

1 tsp Ground Sage

1 tsp Thyme

Small dash of Allspice

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 Cup Veggie Stock

1/4 – 1/2 Cup Beer (Yes, beer!  I used an IPA, but a porter, stout, or even just plain old Bud would work.  Beer has gluten, but I’m sure you could use gluten-free beer and make the dish gluten-free, too.)

Several Ladles of the potato starch water, as needed.  The principle here is the same when cooking pasta and you want a creamier sauce so you add a little bit of the pasta water into your sauce.

Directions:

Sautee the onions in the olive oil in a large pot.  Add some salt and pepper.  When onions are mostly translucent, add minced garlic.  Sautee for a minute more, then add sliced mushrooms.  Sautee and stir until the mushrooms start to wilt and release their juices.  Then add in the lentils, walnuts, seasonings, and liquids.  Cover and simmer for as long as you want.

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While this is going you can also have your mashed potatoes getting ready, too!

Vegan Mashed Potatoes (Easy-Peasey!)

3-4 Peeled Russet Potatoes, Chopped into roughly 2 inch x 2 inch hunks.

Unsweetened Almond Milk (or veggie stock, or other nondairy milk)

2-3 Tbs Earth Balance

Salt & Pepper (to taste.)

Directions:

In a large pot place chopped potatoes.  Cover in water plus extra for use in above recipe.  Place lid on pot, and boil until potatoes are soft when pierced through the center with a fork or knife.

Drain off water, add in earth balance, salt, pepper, and milk (add gradually until you get the right consistency) as you rough mash with a handheld mixer.  Once you feel you have enough liquid, turn on mixer to whip up the potatoes.

Then, you put the whole thing together!

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Enjoy!  It is a pretty easy meal to make. I always serve with steamed green beans as my mom used to put green beans in between the layer of gravy and potato.  You can also serve with peas if you are feeling a bit more English pub-fancy.  🙂

And in other news, I got my first non-family/friend backer on Kickstarter!  I’m stoked!  I changed a few things, such as my photo (too serious!) and addressed the most important features/benefits by putting them first and foremost.  It’s like selling real estate, y’all.  😉  Hope my new approach works!  Keep my project in your thoughts, guys!  It’s all about building that energy that attracts the right people.  🙂

Anyway, peace out.  I have to go clean bathrooms.  Have a super fun day and let me know if you try this recipe out!  I hope you do!  But not while cleaning bathrooms.  That would be unsanitary.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies + General Cheer!

Happy Fall, y’all! 

Today is the first official day of fall!  To celebrate and make sure I start the season right, I made some very tasty, fall inspired cookies!

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I also busted out my brand new pumpkin body lotion and fall-smelling candles to boot!  So now my house smells like a pumpkin and I do, too!  But back to the important stuff:  COOOOOOKIES!!!

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cookies (me want it.)

Ingredients:

2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1 Heaping tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg

1/4 tsp. Allspice

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (Lightly packed)

1/2 Cup (1 stick) Softened Earth Balance Baking Sticks

1 Cup Pumpkin

1 Ener-g Egg Replacer

1/2 Tbs. Vanilla

2 Tbs. Maple Syrup

 

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Uh-huh-uh-huh-uh-huh!  Flavor profile Pumpkin Bomb ‘Splosion! 🙂

Directions:

1.  Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. 

2.  In a larger bowl, cream your “butter”.

3.  Beat in the sugars, ener-g, vanilla, and maple syrup.  Cream until light and fluffy.

4.  Add the pumpkin to your sugar/butter mix and combine.

5.  Slowly add your reserved dry ingredients to your wet ingredients, mixing until nicely combined.

6.  Using a spoon or small scoop, drop the cookie dough onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

7.  Bake for about 10 minutes (check the bottoms for done-ness).  If you made larger cookies than me, they will obviously take longer.  I’m trusting you all to know when the cookies are done.  🙂

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Notes:  These cookies taste very pumpkin-y and make your house smell AAAHHH-MAAAAAY-ZING!  They are better once they have cooled 100%, and it will be hard to wait!  You could easily roll them in a little cinnamon sugar before baking.  To me, it seemed like they needed a little….something.  The naked cookies were yummy, but they needed GLAZE.  Yes.  When in doubt add more sugar, right?  …right.  😉

Glaze (these amounts are approximate; I suggest futzing with the ratios to get the taste right for your taste buds)

1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Almond Milk (or alternative milk option of your choice; doesn’t need to be vanilla either, it’s just what I had handy)

1 tsp Maple Syrup

8-10 Drops of Lemon Juice (this helps make it a bit less shockingly sweet)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Stir together until smooth.  Drizzle over cookies.

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These cookies will certainly help perk up a ho-hum day and fill your house with some fun, autumnal cheer!  They are pretty easy to make, too.  Nick said that these cookies would be good with raisins in ’em.  …I guess I could see that.  Me?  I just want to eat them!

I’m going to bring some with me tonight because we are headed to Santa Barbara to go see Son of Doo-doo and Heather!  Yay for game night!

Next order of business: Kickstarter!  I got my 7th backer today!  Huzzah!  Thank you to all my backers and to all of you who are helping to spread the word.  I am so grateful.  🙂  Keep up the good work and I might share some pumpkin cookies with you!

Oh, wait, you missed the Kickstarter link?  Here it is again!

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