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
 
 
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Szechuan Curry Recipe Review (yes!) + Recipe Failure (booo.)

Hi guys.  I’m experiencing recipe failure.  I’ll describe my issues and see if you wonderful vegan bloggers and bakers can help me out. 

Fudge.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  You know, the kind you used to get at Christmas?  With big hunks of walnuts?  Yes.  THAT kind.  I can safely blame my mom for my recent obsession.  She sent me a recipe (NOT VEGAN) this weekend for some awesome looking pumpkin fudge.  It has sweetened condensed milk AND marshmallow creme, and butter.  Okay, so I know what to replace for one of the three ingredients….the butter.  Ha.  But what to do about the other two?  I don’t want to use something synthetic and really do believe that I can create a healthy, vegan alternative for these ingredients if I just mess around for a while in my kitchen.

Um…..so far though…. I’ve failed.  😦  I still have hope, so no need to send a suicide watch. 😉

Here’s my thoughts.

1.  Use chia seeds, almond milk, and maple syrup to make the condensed milk.

2.  Use soaked and blended raw cashews to make the mallow creme.

3. This might need to be cooked.  Not sure.  I’d prefer something fab that you throw in a bowl, then boom!  Amaze-balls.

4.  Another different route I could see taking is using dates, walnuts, and maple syrup.  Then add the pumpkin.

Thoughts?  

Here’s what happened in my kitchen.  

1.  Chia seeds mixture isn’t enough on it’s own to thicken up and “set” the “fudge.”  I maxed out the chia, too, so no, it isn’t an issue of adding more.  Tried putting it in the fridge first–didn’t set.  Moved it to the freezer–and it froze.  Rock. Solid.  Er….fail! 

2.  The cashew idea tastes GREAT, and cooks fine, smells GREAT, but isn’t mallow-y and doesn’t want to “set” in the fridge, either.  Not sure if this is a full on fail….yet.  

If you have suggestions, let me know.  I’d love to hear ’em.  🙂

Okay, moving on.  Recipe review time!  Yay!  Oh, I so love sharing a success!  Okay, I made this:

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Recipe Here:  http://myinspiration.tv/szechuan-vegetable-curry-with-special-brown-rice/

From a blog called http://myinspiration.tv/

This recipe gets points for:

1.  Easy, quick, healthy.

2.  Tastes great.

3.  Flexible based on your own tastes.

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I added broccoli and tofu, and cut out much of the chili’s since the fiancee can’t handle the heat.  I also didn’t have bamboo shoots which was a bummer because I could see how they’d be super good in this dish.  Also, water chestnuts would be a great addition.

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I also didn’t have portobello mushrooms and used what I had on hand–crimini.  Here the veggies get stir fried up!

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Time for sauce!  It was a simple mix of tomato sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.  The seasonings: ginger, basil, coriander, and paprika.  I loved the basmati rice with peas and cashews!  I also added corn.  Why?  Because it seemed like a good idea.  And it was.  Corn in rice is awesome.

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Additional changes include using a TBS sesame oil to saute up the veggies, not water, like the recipe calls for.

Overall I’d give this recipe a solid 9.  

Okay, now I’m off to focus on Knot Design for a while.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed that we can come up with something for the fudge. 🙂

 

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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