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. 

Image

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:

Image

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

Image

It rolled out and rolled up like a champ!

Image

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

Image

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!

Image

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.  🙂

Image

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

Image

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
 
 
Advertisements

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

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:

Image

 

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.

Image

 

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.

Image

 

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

Image

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.

Image

 

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. 🙂

 

Vegan Almond Joy Recipe Review + General Me Stuff

Hi guys!

Have you ever just had one of those moments where you are so grateful to just be alive?  Where the colors seem more vibrant, the sun feels like it’s hugging you, and you really feel connected to everything?  Sounds strange, but I had one of those moments today.  Everything was calm, beautiful, pure, and I was…present.  Not thinking about Kickstarter, or the business, or who I might need to get in touch with for a project; not thinking about my dog, or the piece of mail I forgot to send; no.  No thoughts. And no, I wasn’t on anything, either.  🙂

It was pretty awesome.  I’m honestly not even sure what triggered it–I guess I just got out of my car to have lunch with my dad today and was in that state of mind.  Anyway, lunch with dad was fun, and insightful, as per usual.  I was explaining to him that I struggle to be a hardass with our clients.  My preference is to be fair with everyone, and not see them from the place of, “What can I take you for?  What can I get out of you?” and rather, “What can I contribute here?  What can we create, together?”  I don’t like having to manipulate or play politics. I don’t like negotiations and I don’t like having to “sell” people on a design.  The longer I do this job, the more I realize everyone wants to play designer, but rarely anyone has taste, and because it’s all so subjective, people think their 2 cents matter when it really shouldn’t.  It just shouldn’t.  Trust the people you hire to deliver.  End rant.

My dad’s thoughts? “Well, that’s business.”

I’m seriously beginning to wonder if this business stuff is for me.  I feel I can’t trust anyone; that they are just working me (us) and I fall right into their trap. Every. Time.  Then I just get pissed off that we got taken advantage of, or could have negotiated a better price for our work.  I get anxious many times during the day when I have to “deal” with a client, over something simple.  I’m really beginning to think I really just suck at business and this has shaken my confidence to the core.  I can’t even make a simple email happen without considerable thought now.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer.  I just wish it were easier!  And that, to have the success I’d like to have, I don’t have to morph into a sneaky, raging a-hole.

Okay.  ….phew.  That’s a lot.  Let’s move on, shall we?

RECIPE TIME!  YES.  Best. Part. of. the. Day!

http://realfoodrealdeals.com/2013/09/21/almond-joy-truffles/

Found this totally yummy recipe for Vegan Almond Joy Truffles on a sweet little site called “Real Food.  Real Deals.” and I said, “Hell yeah, I wanna make THAT!”  So I did.  Photo!

Image

I give this recipe a solid 8.5 out of 10. (*note: reasons for point deductions have been clarified and the directions were not unclear.  I’m just an idiot, apparently. lol)

What I loved:

1.  5 ingredients.  (Winning!)

2.  Healthy ingredients.  (Woot.)

3.  Quick & Easy to make.  (Heck yeah.)

4.  Tasted great.  (Oh yeah, you know it!)

Why I deducted 1.5 points:

1.  Unclear directions.  Is the chocolate supposed to be melted?  The recipe doesn’t say.  I thought that for the sake of it be a truffle, the chocolate should be melted.  It’s only logical, right?  These kinds of things need to be clear for the idiots, like me.  I really dislike having to guess and potentially waste food.  If I had just added in the chocolate chips, not melted, it wouldn’t have turned out.  So, I’m sorry, but this whole chocolate issue cost ya one whole point, just for the stress on me and having to think.  I don’t want to have to think about a simple recipe.  No.  Do I LOOK like I want to think?  (If you could see my face, the clear answer would be, “No, you don’t want to think, Jessica.”)

*Update* So, you can just leave the chocolate unmelted.  The recipe is clear enough–I guess it just didn’t make sense in my little brain.  Hope you can forgive me, Real Deals Real Food!

2.  1/2 point was lost because these didn’t have the full, wow you in the mouth taste of a traditional, non-vegan almond joy.  They were good, don’t get me wrong!  And I fully suggest you all go out and make these!  Just be aware.  If you are thinking they are going to just like almond joys, don’t be fooled.  They are almond joy inspired.  But, that’s good enough for me!  I was just expecting it to be a little more similar to one of my favorite candies of all time.

3.  Last but not least, a little note.  I added just a touch of vanilla extract and a touch of almond extract.  It seemed like it was needed.  You don’t have to add it, and I don’t think it really made a difference in the price of rice in China, but it is something to consider if you agree with me on this point of view, which is: “If you are baking something, it should probably have vanilla in it, somehow.”

Image

These would make great little tea party treats or even dessert appetizers.  Um, I don’t know about this last photo.  Seemed like a good idea at the time!

Anyway, they are a nice little treat and I may have been to hard on ’em, so please know, I do give them a solid two thumbs up–make ’em.  They are pretty delightful–just make sure you melt your chocolate. 😉

Note:  Or don’t melt the chocolate.  🙂  As the original recipe intended.  But if you DO melt the chocolate, they come out dang tasty!