Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies

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Cinnamon rolls + cookies.

While these cookies are cuties, they don’t taste exactly like cinnamon rolls.  That would’ve involved some yeast, and multiple rises, and lots of fuss.  They taste more along the lines of snicker doodles, but they’re still so, so good.  The glaze adds a little bit of sweet crunch, and you can still pull them apart from the outside just like the breakfast treats.

The dough, like most sugar cookie dough, is a little finicky.  So it doesn’t crack or stick to the counter, it’s best to work with it while it’s really, really, cold.

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Vegan Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough:

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

3 tbsp non-dairy milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp butter extract

1 and 3/4 cups flour

1 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp baking soda

Cinnamon-sugar Filling:

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Glaze:

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp powdered sugar

2 – 3 tsp non-dairy milk

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, mix together shortening, non-dairy milk, vanilla, and butter extracts.  Stir in powdered sugar.    Add in flour, cornstarch, and baking soda and stir until combined and a ball forms.  Cover the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

2.  Sprinkle flour on a clean surface.  Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out into a rectangle about half an inch thick.

3.  Combine the cinnamon-sugar ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over the rectangular dough.  Tightly roll up the dough and wrap with plastic wrap.  Place back in the fridge for an hour.

4.  Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

5.  When dough is cold, take the roll out of the fridge.  Using a sharp knife, cut every half inch to make the cookies.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8 – 10 minutes.

6.  When cookies have cooled, mix together powdered sugar and 2 tsp of non-dairy milk.  Add one more tsp if you prefer a thinner glaze, or keep as is for thicker.  Using a fork or spoon, drizzle the glaze over the cookies.  Once the glaze sets, you’re finished!

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Tempura Udon (vegan)

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One. If you live in SE Asia you know…rainy season is upon us.  This means crazy thunderstorms and pouring rain about 5% of the time and dreary, cloudy weather the rest of the time.  That being said, without sunlight, I know my pictures have been kind of…sub par lately.  Grey-ish.  Blah.  I usually love the rain, but come on!  I need some light.

Two.  While yummy, I make absolutely no claims about the authenticity of this dish.

Three.  I used tofu, mushrooms, and a carrot because it’s what I had on hand, but this soup is perfect for using up any vegetables in your crisper.  Some broccoli, pea shoots, onions, would work great too.

Four.  You’ll have some left over tempura batter if you feel like frying up anything else.  I really recommend enoki, but again, any vegetable will be delicious.  Also, a tip about the enokis…they can be a little difficult to fry because they tend to un-bunch when you cut the bottom off.  After I fry the clumpy ones, I usually throw the stray mushrooms in the batter, squeeze the excess off, then scatter it in the oil.

Five.  I think putting fried stuff on top of mushy stuff is one of the greatest texture (and flavor) combinations out there.  Like green bean casserole.  Is it Thanksgiving yet?

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light saber chopsticks mandatory

 Tempura Udon Soup:

serves two – three

Ingredients:

200 grams udon noodles

3 cups water

1 carrot, or other vegetables, chopped

200 grams enoki mushrooms, divided

100 grams tofu

1 tbsp miso

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp mushroom soy sauce

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup water

6 tsp oil + more for frying

Directions:

1.  Cook udon noodles according to package directions.  Drain, let cool, and split up into two or three bowls.

2.  Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, water, and 6 tsp oil.  Place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, prepare the broth.  Bring 3 cups of water to a simmer.  Add miso, soy sauce, and mushroom soy sauce.

4.  Add vegetables (except 100 g enoki mushrooms) and simmer until soft, about 5 minutes.

5.  Add tofu, cover, and set aside.

6.  Heat oil in a deep pan or pot over medium high heat.  Remove tempura batter from the fridge.  Coat remaining mushrooms in batter, and place in hot oil.

7.  Fry 30 seconds on each side.  Place on a paper towel to drain and repeat with remaining mushrooms.

8.  Pour broth and vegetables over noodles and top with fried mushrooms.  Finished!

Source: Tempura batter from about.com

Meatball Subs (vegan)

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Hello again!  I’ve been all over the place the last couple of weeks, least of all on here.  I recently got back from Laos, spending my 4th of July staring out the window at hammer and sickle flags…(Fourth of July fail.)  I hope everyone had a great holiday!  Since having the month of July off, I thought I’d be all over my little blog, but alas.  Anyway, I’m back!

I love me some meatball subs.  The first time I made them I used a TVP + VWG combo, and they were pretty great, but I thought I’d try something new this time (mostly because I ran out of VWG).  I used a bean combination, and were pleasantly surprised that they didn’t come out bean-y.  I’m not a huge fan of mock meats, so when I when I make something that originally had meat, like MEATballs, I’m not going for re-creating that exact flavor.  What I am into, is liquid smoke.  The smokey flavor that usually accompanies meat can be infused in any dish that needs a little extra flavor.

These subs go wonderfully with any form of fried potato :)

Below are the meatball recipe and the marinara recipe, but you could certainly use store bought marinara sauce if you’re short on time.

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Meatball Subs:

makes four sandwiches

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

2 cups of cooked beans (any type, or a blend)

tsp salt

tsp liquid smoke

1/4 cup bread or panko crumbs

1/4 cup flour + more for dusting

2 tsp nutritional yeast

oil, for frying

Marinara:

8 tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp olive oil

tsp salt

2 tsp nutritional yeast

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup water

Additional:

4 hoagie rolls

chopped basil

Directions – Marinara:

1.  Preheat oven to 210°C (410°F).

2.  On a baking sheet, place halved tomatoes cut-side up in a single layer. Drizzle one tbsp olive oil and sprinkle salt and nutritional yeast over the tomatoes.  Place in the oven for one hour.

3.  After one hour, turn the heat up to 230°C (450°F) for 15 more minutes.  Remove and allow to cool, then dice.

4.  Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan until shimmery.  Add garlic and cook until browned.  Add the tomatoes, water, and the drippings from the pan.  Add the meatballs and simmer for 10 minutes, or until desired consistency.

Directions – Meatballs:

1.  In a skillet over medium heat, add oil.  When oil is shimmery, add the onion and garlic.  When the onions are starting to brown, add in the mushrooms and saute until brown and crispy.  Turn off heat set aside, and let cool.

2.  In a medium bowl or ziploc bag, smash the beans into a paste.  Add the remaining ingredients and roll into twelve balls.

3.  Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.  While oil is heating, lightly coat the meatballs with flour.  When oil is hot, add meatballs six at a time into the pan.  Turn the meatballs over about every minute to evenly brown. Repeat with remaining meatballs.

4.  If using store-bought marinara, heat in a small saucepan and add meatballs for 10 minutes to absorb the sauce.

Directions – Assembly:

1.  Halve hoagie buns.  Toast and spread with vegenaise, if desired.

2.  Add three meatballs to each bun and a spoonful of sauce.

3.  Top with chopped basil and eat!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream (vegan)

IMG_4443Sometimes…you need to walk out of your job.  Sometimes…this creates a LOT of visa problems.  Sometimes…ice cream makes everything okay.

Chocolate chip cookie dough is my absolute favorite.  It’s cookies…and ice cream…together.  Who thought of this madness?  I don’t know but I love you.  When I was little I would spit out all the cookie dough chunks to save at the bottom for one massive spoonful of cookie dough.  I am proud to say that I no longer do this (in public).

This vegan ice cream uses a coconut milk base, and the coconut flavor is definitely still there in the final product.  If you’re not a fan of the flavor, you might want to skip this one, or substitute another fatty non-dairy milk.

I made this without an ice cream machine, and I was pleasantly surprised that it still resembled ice cream!  If you are an ice-cream-machine-less person like myself, I’ll leave a note in the recipe of the extra step that’ll get that air in there.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream (vegan)

Ingredients:

750 mL (25 oz) coconut milk (Chao Koh brand is best)

2 cups brown sugar

3 tsp vanilla extract

one half batch chocolate chip cookie dough

Directions:

1. In a saucepan over low heat, combine coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla until sugar is dissolved.

2. If using an ice cream machine, pour mixture in and turn on.  If not, pour into a 1 lb bread loaf pan and put in the freezer.  Stir every hour, scraping the ice crystals off the bottom, until almost frozen (This took me about 3 hours).

3. Meanwhile, make your cookie dough.  Roll cookie dough into little chunks and stick on a baking sheet.  Put in the freezer.

4.  When the ice cream in the machine is finished, or in the freezer is almost solid, stir in the cookie dough chunks.

5.  Freeze until solid.  Scoop out and enjoy!

Classic Donuts (vegan)

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I’m going to make a bold statement.

I HATE BAKED DONUTS.

For real.  Get that shit away from me.  Vegan donuts are a rare treat, so if I find them or make them, you can be sure they’re going to be fried to golden brown perfection.  However, I seem to be alone on this, according to the Internet.

Back in February I was looking for a recipe to surprise my Krispy-Kreme-loving compadre with on Valentine’s Day (I know, I’m the romantic-est).  If I was going to get up at 4 am to make them, I was going to do it right.  No ovens, no chia seeds.  I scoured the internet looking for recipes, but they were all BAKED with long anecdotes about health and veganism.  Well phooey.   Since this was my first time making donuts, vegan or otherwise, and on a special-ish occasion, I didn’t want to try adapting a non-vegan recipe, as this can often end in disaster.  Just when I thought I’d chance the grease-fire, I found Vegan Heartland‘s Krispy Dream donut recipe.

These donuts were magical.  They were fluffy, crispy, sweet, and really do taste like Krispy Kreme donuts.  My compadre was happy and my kitchen remained grease-fire free.  He took some extras to work with him and his students asked him where he bought them and said they were even better than Krispy Kreme (Thai culture translation – bought things are considered ‘better’ than homemade, and Krispy Kreme is considered a really fancy place to eat donuts and Instagram yourself).

I was so happy with the way these turned out.  I’ve played around with the recipe a little, making cinnamon sugar donut holes, and chocolate glazes, but today is all about the classic glazed.

photo (3)freshly dipped in glaze (please excuse the iPhone photo)

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IMG_4399hello beautiful

Recipe:

makes twelve donuts

Ingredients:

Dough:

3 tsp dry yeast

2 tbsp warm water

3/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup applesauce

1/6 cup shortening

2 and 1/2 cups flour

Glaze:

1/6 cup shortening

1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp water

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, pour warm water over yeast.  Let sit until bubby (2 – 3 minutes).

2.  Combine coconut milk, sugar, salt, applesauce, and shortening in a large bowl.  Stir until smooth.  Add in yeast/water mixture and stir.

3.  Add flour and stir until combined (add more flour in tablespoons if dough is too wet.  It should be moist, but not sticky.)

4.  Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover.  Let rise for one hour, or until doubled.

5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out to 2 cm thickness.

6. You can either cut the dough into strips and form into the doughnut shape around your finger or use circle cutouts (I did the latter).  Either way, use all the dough forming your doughnut shape.

7. Let doughnuts rest for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

8. Heat the oil in a pan or pot to 180°C (350°F).  Make sure you have enough oil to cover at least half the thickness of the doughnuts or the middle will be raw!

9. Slide in doughnuts and fry about one minute on each side, until golden brown.

10.  Remove and let cool.

11.  While donuts are cooling, begin the glaze.  In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, add shortening.  Heat until melted (you can also use a microwave).  When melted, add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and water.  Stir and immediately remove from heat. (Note: for a thicker, whiter glaze, add more sugar and less water.  For a lighter, clearer, glaze add more water and less sugar.)

12. Once donuts are cool, dip them in glaze or brush it on.  Add sprinkles if you so desire.

13.  Let the glaze set and harden.  Finished!

Source: Adapted from the lovely Matthew at Vegan Heartland

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (vegan)

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Peanut butter is expensive here.  Like seven dollars a jar expensive.  That being said, I don’t get in as many pb & js as I’d like, but such is life.  When we do buy peanut butter, it’s a real treat.  …And the jar is usually demolished within 48 hours.  Is this a good time to mention that peanut butter is NEVER used in Thai cooking?  Most Thais don’t know what it is, and the few that I’ve known that did know hate it.  While living in rural Thailand, my boyfriend made some of his neighbors’s children a peanut butter sandwich, and they spit it out, saying it was bland and salty (the ultimate insult for food in Thai).

As I am not a Thai child, I could not resist picking this up at Tesco:

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It is SO GOOD.  And vegan too!  This jar didn’t last very long.  There were spoons involved.  It wasn’t pretty.

IMG_4338We had a hunch these would quite delicious in cookie form (they are).  They aren’t the most glamorous of cookies but they sure are yummy.  If you can’t get your hands on chocolate peanut butter, there are many tutorials and recipes online on how to make your own.  Or classic peanut butter would work just fine too!

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IMG_4345this bitten cookie is brought to you courtesy of my buck teeth

Recipe

makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup chocolate peanut butter (or classic peanut butter)

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut milk (or whatever non-dairy milk you prefer)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup chocolate chunks or chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and lightly grease a cookie sheet.

2.  Mix peanut butter, shortening, sugar, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl until smooth (no shortening lumps!)

3.  Add flour and baking powder and stir.

4.  Fold in chocolate chunks.

5. With your hands, make small balls of dough, gently flatten, and place on the cookie sheet, about 1 – 2 inches apart (they don’t spread too much).

6.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until tops start to get crackle-y.  Let cool before removing from baking sheet.  Finished!

Source: Adapted from The Vegan Zombie

Mall Pretzels (vegan)

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My family is really into pretzels.  Like really into pretzels.  It started in Bavaria, when my grandma was a little girl.  Whenever she was sick, her family would always know she was better when she asked them to go down the street for a pretzel.  There is a giant golden pretzel (GIANT) in my mom’s kitchen that used to hang outside of the Rold Gold factory (I still have no idea how it got there).  And now, admittedly, I seem to have caught the mania started by Ollie all those years ago in Germany.

My favorite kind of pretzels are the kind at the mall that you can smell before you see them.  Luckily, mall pretzels tend to be vegan if you ask them to hold the butter.  But sometimes…I don’t want to hold the butter.  So I made my own, with vegan butter galore.

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30 minutes later…yeast is magic

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gloomy afternoons are perfect pretzel-dough rising conditions

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salt on salt

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pretzel party

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I…went a little hard on the salt

Recipe:

makes four pretzels

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 & 1/8 tsp instant yeast

1/3 cup – 1/2 cup warm water (start with 1/3 and add a little bit at a time if dough is dry)

1  & 1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

Topping:

1/4 cup warm water

1 tbsp baking soda (this sounds like WOAH a lot but I promise you won’t taste it)

coarse sea salt

2 tbsp vegan margarine, melted

Directions:

1.  Combine 1/3 cup warm water and yeast in a bowl.  Let rest until bubbly (3-4 minutes)

2.  Meanwhile, combine remaining dough ingredients in a bowl.  Add water/yeast mixture and stir until combined (if dough is dry, add water 1 tbsp at a time).

3.  Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (about 5 minutes).

4.  Transfer dough to an oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

5.  Divide dough into four pieces and let rest 5 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 260°C (500°F).

7.  Combine warm water and baking soda in a shallow bowl.  Stir until dissolved.

8. Roll each dough piece into a rope (Mine were about 70 cm, but if you like thicker pretzels, make shorter ropes) and shape into pretzels.

9.  Dip pretzels into the water/baking soda mixture and place them on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle liberally with salt.  Rest for ten minutes.

10. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.

11. Take pretzels out of the oven and brush on vegan margarine.  Finished!

Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour Company