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
 
 

Cinnamon Roll Recipe Review

Guys.  Cinnamon Rolls.  Good ones.  VEGAN ones.

7 ingredients.  Minimal effort.  SUPER good results, as in I couldn’t mess this one up, and the yield was 10, knock your socks off cinnamon rolls.

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Now, for the all important details.  I found this gem of a recipe on http://minimalistbaker.com/

Go HERE for it! ——-> http://minimalistbaker.com/the-worlds-easiest-cinnamon-rolls/ Or just scroll.  I’ll include it at the bottom of the post.

I’m a little bummed because not everything on this site is vegan.  The cinnamon rolls sure are, however.  I’m pleased to announce that this recipe is a solid 10 out of 10.  I almost can’t believe it because I can usually find something to add or improve upon.  I fought the urges to add pecans, raisins, and brown sugar because I just wanted to keep the integrity of the recipe intact and as it was intended.  Super simple.  Super easy. And I’m tell you all–fight the urge, too, because these simply don’t need it.  They are amazing just as they are.

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This recipe gets points for:

1.  Easy instructions + easy to come by ingredients.

2.  Great dough.  Seriously.  I’m trying to think up other ways to use it.

3.  General high level of deliciousness.

4.  House smelled great.

5.  Post copious taco feasting, everyone still wanted to eat these–and ate not just one, but TWO whole ones!  Just that alone should tell you all something.

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Making cinnamon rolls is a multi-step process.  But the steps were easy and so worth it.  Here are the little guys, just chillin’ on the “warming” zone on my stove.

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Lookie how fluffy that dough is!  It was tender, soft, tasty…just perfect.

Nary a cinnamon roll was left.  All plates were licked clean–literally.  Including the baking dish!  I used the vegan cream cheese frosting by following the link provided.

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I will be making these again, very, very soon! Possibly today.  I’m bummed none were left for day after leftovers!

I’ll post an original, Glitterpony created recipe soon.  I just had to share because I made these last night to take to taco Tuesday/game night and they were such a hit.  Do you guys have any great cinnamon roll recipes I should take a look at?  Let me know!  Hope you all have a great Wednesday and I encourage you to wander over to the Minimalist Baker and try this recipe.

Recipe courtesy of Minimalist Baker @ http://www.minimalistbaker.com

Ingredients
  • 1 packet instant yeast
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup Earth balance (vegan butter), divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, divided
Instructions
  1. In a large sauce pan (or in a bowl in the microwave at 30 sec increments), heat the almond milk and 3 Tbsp Earth Balance until warm and melted, never reaching boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees, or the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast.
  2. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on yeast. Let activate for 10 minutes, then add 1 Tbsp sugar and the salt and stir.
  3. Next add in flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as you go. The dough will be sticky. When it is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so until it forms a loose balll. Rinse your mixing bowl out, coat it with canola or grapeseed oil, and add your dough ball back in. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size (see photo).
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with 3 Tbsp melted Earth Balance and top with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 – 1Tbsp cinnamon.
  5. Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. Then with a serrated knife or a string of floss, cut the dough into 1.5 – 2 inch sections and position in a well-buttered 8×8 square or comparable sized round pan (you should have about 10 rolls). Brush with remaining 2 Tbsp Earth Balance (melted) and cover with plastic wrap. Set on top of the oven to let rise again while you preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Once the oven is hot, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until very slightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve immediately.
  7. Optional: Frost with dairy free cream cheese frosting or a simple mixture of powdered sugar and almond milk.

Friday Means The Weekend is Here! + Banana & Peanut Butter Yummies

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Happy Friday everyone!  What do you make when you want something sweet, semi-healthy, that is easy and quick to make?  Banana Yummies of course.  Well, I don’t know what else to call them, so you figure out the name.  I’ll just give you the recipe and directions!  Sure, this isn’t super original, but they are very tasty, so….here ya go.

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I also love the limited number of ingredients this recipe calls for!

Ingredients:

1 Banana (or more, depending on how many people you want to share the yummies with.  I find that if I make too much of a good thing, I eat too much of a good thing, and well, you guessed it!  It isn’t such a good thing in the end!  And by end, I mean MY end!) lol)

Peanut Butter &/or Almond Butter (I wasn’t sure which would be tastier, so I did half and half!  More on this to follow!)

4 TBS Chocolate Chips (I like the Enjoy Life brand, they are vegan, but if you aren’t vegan, use what you have around the house.)

1/2 Tsp. Coconut Oil (optional.  Makes the chocolate nice, smooth, and more melty.)

Directions:

1.  Slice up your bananas.  Lay slices on a small plate or baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Note:  I thought I was being all fancy to slice them diagonally.  I do NOT recommend doing this!  Had I thought about it better, I would have realized that trying to line up the tops with the bottoms down the road to make them sandwiched would be tricky.  Then, getting them all coated with chocolate would also be hard!  Boo!  Anyway, make them nice, coin shaped, about a 1/4 inch thick or so.

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2.  Put a little dollop of either peanut butter or almond butter in the center or 1/2 the slices.

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3.  Next, turn them into little sandwiches!

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See what I mean about how they don’t line up nicely?  Coin shaped, people!  Coin shaped! lol

4.  Put the little banana sammies in the freezer for about 10 minutes while you prep and melt your chocolate.

5.  Place the coconut oil in a small pan or pot.  Using medium low heat, melt the coconut oil.  Then add the chocolate chips and stir until the mix is nice and smooth.  Careful, vegan chocolate melts kinda funny sometimes!  It can burn much faster than regular chocolate.

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6.  Place semi-frozen banana sammies on a fork, then spoon chocolate all over them until they are completely covered.  Then place back on the wax paper.  Once all sammies have been covered in chocolate, put them back in the freezer.

7.  Let freeze for about an hour.  Eat, enjoy, share, eat…. 🙂

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Almond Butter vs Peanut Butter!  Which tasted better, you might ask?  BOTH were equally AMAZING.  I’d suggest try making both and have a taste test like we did around here.  Nick and I couldn’t decide which was better.  If you make ’em and have a preference, I’d love to know!

Next order of business:  KICKSTARTER UPDATE.  Well, I have SIX backers!  Um, yes, they are all friends and family.  So, at least I know who I’m giving a kidney to should they ever need one! 😉  I’m starting to get a little nervous that people may not “get” my idea, or something.  On my Kickstarter stats, people watch my entire video only 20% of the time!  Guys.  Watch the FULL video.  There are outtakes and they are funny; certainly worth sticking around for!

27 days left on Kickstarter!  Ah!  Okay, here is the link again, in case y’all missed it.

And here is the facbook page for Modern Pirate Quarterly!  Go “like” it!  You know you do! 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/Modernpiratequarterly?ref=hl

Last but not least, people, have a great Friday!

Chocolate Chew Cookies aka “Crack Cookies” + Weekend Round-up

Happy Sunday!

Well, I’m just dragging today.  I don’t know if it is because the sun hasn’t come out yet, or if it’s because I just didn’t sleep well last night.  I was plagued with nightmares.  I woke up trying to scream but couldn’t.  I kept feeling like someone was in the room, but I *knew* better, but in my half asleep state… I think this really helped make the nightmares more potent.  Ah well.  Nothing a little coffee can’t fix! 🙂

I did bag out on my run this morning and opted to nibble on a cookie and a tofu dog thingy for breakfast.  It was the closest thing to eating an egg.  Yes, Jessica math goes like this:  1 cookie + 1 tofu dog = 1 egg

Do not try this ratio in baking.  😉

Okay, I’ll start with the fun, and as promised, here is the cookie recipe!  When I was younger, I called these cookies “chocolate crack cookies” because they are addictive, like crack! So p.c. of me, I know.  Plus, they tend to get a lovely crackle top on them, so if you are more comfortable thinking of them in this light, then run free with your bad self!  My mom is going to kill me when she finds out I’ve posted this–she’s a recipe hoarder. lol She don’t share with no one! But I’m a fan of spreading the wealth and sharing the good stuff.  Why keep it all for me?  I’m pretty sure that once I share this blog, she’ll read this, and never share another recipe with me again.  Little does she know that like the secret pirate ninja I be, I sneaked in and took photos of all the recipes I really like and use often, so they are handy-dandy on my phone.  Heh heh heh!  😉  ….besides, Mom, this recipe has been modified from its original version to be vegan-good!

Chocolate Chew (Crack) Cookies – Vegan

Ingredients:

2 Heaping Cups Vegan Chocolate Chips Melted (I like the semi-sweet vegan ones from Wholefoods)

3/4 Cups Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (at Room Temp.)

1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

3 Eggs (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer, mixed and ready to go)

3 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp. Salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Use a double boiler and melt the chocolate, slowly, on a low heat, checking often.  I do find that vegan chips are a little more fussy when they melt and are prone to burning–you know, getting crumbly and not melting right.  This could also be that I’m just impatient.  lol  Once nicely melted, set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients, sift or mix together, set aside.  Beat “butter” until creamy.  Add sugar, whip until smooth and fluffy.  Add vanilla and beat again until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the egg replacer and keep beating.  I did find that this mixture did whip up and behave fairly similarly to how non-vegan dough acts/looks at this point, which gave me hope.  Add in melted chocolate, combine nicely, then add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Form balls, roll in sugar, the bake!  No time in the fridge needed for this dough!  If you find that the dough doesn’t want to combine toward the end, add a few drops of water (literally, it doesn’t take much) to the remaining dough.

Photos!

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Here is the dough, ready to bake.

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I ran out of granulated sugar!  Can you believe that?  Well, powdered sugar will work, too!  I also got creative and used coconut sugar on some of the dough balls, just to see how that would turn out.

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My little coconut sugar minions of goodness, in baking formation.

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Oh yeah.  Eat your heart out. 🙂  Note the “cracked” top?  Crack cookies, baby.  Not crack baby cookies.  That’d be wrong.

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Here’s the loot!  This recipe made 29 medium-sized cookies and 11 lil’ babies for tasting.  This recipe was modified from the original and the amounts cut in half so that I could use a hand mixer–if you want a ton of these cookies, double the recipe and use a free-standing mixer as my little handheld could barely mix in the flour.  Plus, until I checked how these would turn out, I didn’t want to commit to that much potential waste.

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Money Shot!  So. Chewy.  🙂  Bake for about 8 – 10 minutes and let cool for a few on your baking sheet before transferring onto a cooling rack or paper towels.

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In a bag and ready to go!  I attached a little note to each–one said, “Welcome Doo-Doo!” and the other said, “Welcome Son of Doo-Doo!”  🙂  I think I’m funny!

Anyway, I heard that the cookies were well enjoyed by all.  The coconut sugar did turn out and was tasty.  I’d also say that if you are a chocaholic, you could drizzle chocolate on top of the cookies or dip in melted chocolate instead of using sugar.  These would also be great cookies for an ice cream sandwich or if they stick around too long a get a bit stale (doubt that would happen, but in this unlikely event) you could smash up and use for a cookie crust for a pie of some kind.

So today’s agenda boasts several notable things!

1.  I’ve handed off the jpgs of my book to my publisher to convert into pdf format. YAY!  What a relief!  That was holding us up so bad and was a huge source of frustration!

2.  Blog (duh, have to do that–it’s like taking a sanity pill.  I’m sure all you other writers out there feel the same way.  If you aren’t writing, you are not feeling super groovy!)

3.  BBQ at the Papa’s!  And YES I get to meet Son of Doo-Doo!  I haven’t met either of Karen’s kids.  I’m a bit nervous/excited/nervous.

4.  Hit the store to get salad fixin’s and fruit and maybe the stuff to do some guacamole.  🙂

Yes, I know I mentioned in a previous post that there are some heavy topics that I wanted to talk about, namely, sharing my publishing joy with my dad.  Basically, when I finally shared with him, he was less than excited, I suppose he was about the same as my mom?  Mild interest.  On a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being no interest, and 10 being jubilant, he was at about a 2.  Oh well.  I guess it comes back to this:  If you are looking for approval, you are always looking outside yourself and having to use measures and judgments.  If you acknowledge you, you include everything, everyone, and suddenly the greatness you be can just, well, be!  So I’m really done seeking approval.  Easier said than actually done, I suppose.  I write because I love it.  I asked Nick yesterday, “Is there anything you love so much, you’d do it for free?”  He said, “Not really….I guess if the project were cool, I’d design it for free…..” I said, “Well, I love writing.  I do it for free I enjoy it so much.”  I guess it’s hard for people to relate when they haven’t experienced this kind of love.  Haha, I guess it’s like parenting?  That definitely pays crap, right? 😉

So on that “hm” note, I’ll bid you all a’do.  Make the cookies.  🙂  Eat and enjoy!  See you all later!