Brokenhearted: The Story of a Doughnut

It was a fresh, snowy Valentine’s Day morning when I decided to make a special batch of heart-shaped doughnuts to celebrate the holiday.

I should have known that it would all go terribly wrong.

I should have taken a picture of my first batch of doughnuts–hugely swollen over the edges. Golden and crispy. And completely stuck to the pan. When I flipped them–blam!–doughnut crumbs everywhere. I was too sad to document it.

After I got home from work, I decided to try it all again. I will have doughnuts! I didn’t buy this new pan for nothing!

Boo! They were super crispy–almost fried–with no cake-y texture at all. They were gluten free! That’s what gluten free baked goods do best: density. Oh well. I still glazed and sprinkled them. And ate three.

I’m not even going to talk about lighting the brownies on fire. That’s a story for another day.

Recipe from Cybele Pascal, who seems to know something about doughnuts that I don’t.

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Spinach & Artichoke Frittata

First, I’ve gotta say it: Thank you, Happy Herbivore, for finally making an artichoke recipe. What is it with vegans and artichokes? I love them, and I hardly see any one using them. It’s a real shame.

This recipe comes from the brand-new Everyday Happy Herbivore, and I couldn’t be more impressed by it. The creaminess of the mori-nu tofu is amazing. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t eating eggs and cream! The turmeric gave it just the right yellow color (but not too yellow) and the artichokes and spinach were so smooth. I think there was something a little lacking in flavor in this one, but I think it’s my fault: I had frozen, plain artichoke hearts (which I used) instead of the marinated ones. I think the recipe was really depending on you choosing those. It also needed a bit of salt, but that was an easy fix.

I would love to make this again, and my brain is spinning with the flavor possibilities. Roasted brussels sprouts and leeks! Red peppers, capers and grilled eggplant! Just think of the whole world of frittata that’s opened up right before your eyes.

 

Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes

Don’t we all need double the chocolate in our pancakes?

I adapted this recipe from the basic pancakes in the Happy Herbivore. That is the best starting point for pancakes I’ve ever seen–you can basically add anything to it, and they come out great. Blueberries? Sure! Flax? Yes! Pumpkin? Probably. But this time I added both cocoa powder and chocolate chips to make it extra, extra chocolaty.

Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes (makes approximately 8 to 10):

  • 1 cup of flour (I use ultragrain flour)
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T baking powder
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips (reserve)

Follow the directions in the Happy Herbivore cookbook, which are basically: mix all the dry ingredients, then add the the wet. Mix gently and let sit for 10 minutes. You can heat up your skillet while you wait.

Now, grab your chocolate chips! When you pour the batter into the pan to make the pancake, add 4 to 5 chocolate chips on the top. When you flip the pancake, the chips will be incorporated in. You don’t need very many, and this way you can easily control how much chocolate goes into each pancake, instead of having some with none, and some with TONS.

I topped ours with raspberry jam and powdered sugar. But for Christmas, I think it would be adorable to make a peppermint glaze (out of unmilk, powdered sugar, and peppermint extract) and top with some crushed candy canes. I think you could even do an adorable chocolate orange pancake (you could even use orange-flavored chocolate!), or one with blueberry syrup.

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns

Oh the flavors of fall. When cans of pumpkin are everywhere, begging to be used in inventive ways. Like these sticky buns! With lots of pumpkin in the dough, you get the great orange color and a hint of pumpkin flavor. For an even pumpkin-ier experience, I’d smooth 2 tablespoons of pumpkin over the rolled out dough before sprinkling on the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns (makes 12):

  • 1 cup unmilk
  • 2&1/4 tsp active yeast (or one packet)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 T + 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 5 T pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/8 tsp allspice

Heat the unmilk until it reaches 110 degrees, and mix with active yeast. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes until the yeast is bubbly. Stir in pumpkin.

Place 3 cups of flour in bowl, and mix with sugar, 1 T cinnamon and salt. Add your milk and pumpkin mixture, and stir until a soft dough begins to form. If the dough is not coming together at all, add more unmilk, one tablespoon at a time, until dough is soft and slightly sticky. Knead dough for 5 to 10 minutes on clean surface until it is smoother and more elastic.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a warm towel. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Then punch the dough down a little and roll out into a large rectangle (about 10×14). Sprinkle with the brown sugar and 1 T cinnamon. Roll tightly and cut 1 inch off of each end (side note: I usually save these, cut them really small, and then bake in the toaster oven for my toddler to eat. They have less sugar and are a nice size). Now cut into 12 one-inch circles.

Use cooking spray to grease a  round cake pan, pie pan, or an appropriate-sized casserole dish. Place pecan pieces evenly in the bottom, and put your rolls on top. Mix the remaining 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, allspice, brown rice syrup and maple syrup in a microwaveable container. Heat in microwave for 20 seconds, and then pour mixture over the cinnamon rolls.

Let rise in a warm place for 20 more minutes. Then, place sticky buns in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until they are golden and cooked in the center. For presentation you can flip the baking dish over onto a large plate, or if you are lazy (like me) just pull out a sticky bun and spoon the maple-pecan glaze over the top.

E2 Week: Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

Of course, these pancakes are beautiful. Bright yellow, smothered in wild blueberries–there is no way to go wrong with that.

See what I mean? There’s a problem, though, and it comes from adapting a recipe too far. Oh, Engine 2 Diet, you can’t take all the sugar out of a recipe with the juice and zest of two full lemons! Since this recipe is adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance, I could check the original–eliminating the oil is one thing (since pancakes sort of don’t need it, if you grease your pan appropriately) but the sugar? THE SUGAR? It’s sort of like thinking you’re going to drink a big glass of lemonade, and what you get is a fresh glass of straight lemon juice. With salt in it.

My husband called these “bitter cakes” for a very good reason. Next time I make them–and I’m determined to make them again!–I’ll add only 1 or 2 teaspoons of zest, the same amount of lemon juice (it’s about 1/4 of a cup), and a tablespoon of raw sugar.

There were two exciting discoveries that came from this breakfast, though: 1. I LOVE soy yogurt. I think I tried it early on, when my tastes were still changing, and it seemed weird. But I ate a bit of the vanilla yogurt that went into these and it was amazing. So, yay! 2. Blueberry Syrup. I made this recipe off the top of my head, and then discovered that it was nearly identical to the one in VwaV. How do I do it?

Blueberry Syrup (makes enough for 4 servings of pancakes, used sparingly):

  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries (the small kind)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 or 2 tsp vanilla (to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. The syrup should come together in the time it takes to make all your pancakes, and be gently warm–not burning hot. So, about 15 minutes.

Cherry Almond Scones

I guess that 8pm isn’t a great time for taking scone photos. So, this looks a little funky, but trust me, it tastes great.

I used the recipe from Vegan Brunch, which you can find on the PPK’s website in a slightly different version. Instead of lavender and marionberry, I used dried bing cherries and almonds (1/4 cup of each). I also upped the vanilla to 2 teaspoons, though I frankly could have added more. OH! And I changed one more thing–I was out of shortening, so I just used all canola oil. Just make sure to get it all nice and crumbly like you would normally. As a matter of fact, oil seems to be a lot less work for about the same results.

I’m sure this is just the start of my scone frenzy. I have a can of pumpkin in the cabinet just waiting to get sconed!

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

These may, in fact, taste better than they look. Is that even possible?

From the November issue of Vegetarian Times (who lately can do no wrong) come the most amazing cinnamon rolls! They’re like a magical hybrid of all things delicious: maple, cinnamon, pecans, sweet potatoes…and sugar. SUGAR.

Were I to make these again (and I WILL) I found that using vegan cream cheese to make the icing didn’t add to the flavor much, but did add naughty naughty transfats. I think I’d just try to make a thinner icing with almond milk, or even mix it up with some sweet potato to get even more sweet potato flavor.

Okay, two changes: the dough was a little tough to work with. I’m not sure why, but I think it needed a little more liquid, or more something. I like the feel of the Vegan Brunch dough better, so I’d probably hybridize between those two recipes. When all was said and done, the rolls themselves weren’t tough, so…who knows?

What I do know is that I have about 5 of these bad boys in my freezer right now! LUCKY!