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.


Happy Halloween! Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

I suppose the “latte” part is misleading, because these are really Happy Herbivore‘s Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with a Pumpkin frosting/glaze of my own design. My child was a cupcake for Halloween this year, so she asked that we also make special cupcakes to celebrate. Can do, kiddo.

The cupcake has a very dense texture, but I don’t know if that was partly my fault for over-stirring, or the nature of fat-free baked goods. Whatever the case, it tasted great, and really did have a great chai latte flavor. The pumpkin glaze I made is runny, but it’s also fat-free and super easy, so you take what you can get.

Pumpkin Glaze (for 8 cupcakes):

  • 3 T pureed pumpkin
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Stir ingredients until combined. Then, place mixture in freezer, checking periodically to stir and make sure the mixture is setting up properly. When as it’s as firm as you’d like (but not frozen) dab a spoonful on each cupcake. The mixture spreads quickly, so you won’t need to worry about making it look pretty. Sprinkle with cinnamon for even more fun.


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!

Moroccan Stew

I’ve been terrified to make this.

I get a little scared to cook with mint. Yes, I know I love mint in other dishes. But hot mint? In a stew? With cinnamon? I’m just not used to thinking outside the box like this. My tastes have always run a little, well, predictable. Not strictly “American” food, but certainly with very tame spice combinations. I’d hoped this wouldn’t be like all my curry experiments gone awry.

But guess what? It was really, really good. Really.

We all liked it–even my picky 2-year-old. Which is amazing, if you know 2-year-olds. My husband likes anything with ginger in it, so I knew he’d be happy. But this whole dinner was really comforting, filling, and easy to make. Couscous is amazing, too. I don’t know why I didn’t start cooking with it earlier. The whole deal gets a definite thumbs up!

Recipe from Appetite for Reduction.


Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles!

One of my husband’s beloved co-workers had her last day at work on Friday, so I made these very spicy cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. One, we didn’t tell anyone that they were spicy, so that was pretty funny. Two, these are amazing! I will cut back on the cayenne next time I make them–they were a little too hot for me. But they would make the best ice cream sandwich cookies in the world.

Basically, imagine a cookie that has the taste and texture of a very thin brownie. Then make it sugary crunchy on top, with a hint of cinnamon. Then, put it in your mouth. Aaaaah.



Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls, Part Deux

You know I love cinnamon rolls. It was practically the first thing I blogged about! I’d been making them with dough from english muffins, because it was easier–I never tried the cinnamon roll recipe in Vegan Brunch until this weekend. I baked up a MONSTER batch of these for our community bake sale, and these were the big hit. HUGE. People bought them, ate them, and then came back around for seconds. I have to agree–this cinnamon roll recipe is out of the park delicious.

Basically, you follow the directions exactly, but add about 2 tsp of maple syrup to the margarine spreading step, and 2 T of frozen blueberries before you roll it up! I like mine without icing, so I didn’t even bother with that part.

Also, wanna know a secret? If you live near the restaurant Texas Roadhouse (I won’t link, it’s not vegan, look it up yourself), and have had their bread you’ll know what I’m talking about. That bread is insane. My first time there I easily ate 10 rolls. I was confused about how that much bread could fit in my stomach at one time. I digress–if you made this recipe just using the dough, and didn’t put any of the filling in, it tastes JUST LIKE that bread. But VEGAN. VEGAN!!! I know. It was all sunshine and lollipops and happiness over here at my house. Hooray!


Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes Veganized!

In my earlier pancake post, reader kat suggested that I try out the Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes from her blog, she cooks, he eats. Since the original recipe wasn’t vegan, and contained more butterfat than you could shake a stick at, I knew I needed work some magic on it.


I used the Happy Herbivore basic pancake recipe, since it already has a dose of cinnamon in it. I do doctor that a little by adding vanilla, and usually a touch more almond milk–I think my flour is a little thirstier, and it makes the pancakes too thick. Since the cinnamon swirl mix makes more than you need for this pancake recipe, you can double your pancakes, or half the swirl.

Then, I altered the cinnamon swirl recipe, so I didn’t have to pipe it at all. I hate piping!

Cinnamon Swirl (easily makes enough for 12 pancakes):

  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine or shortening (make sure it has some buttery flavor)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or whatever unmilk you like)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp flour

Using a pyrex measuring cup, I melted the margarine in the microwave (it took about 20 seconds). Then I stirred in the sugar, cinnamon, and flour to make a thick paste. Add the almond milk in slowly, as you may not need all of it to make a pourable syrup. When you have it at a workable consistency, you’re done!

Now you get to make pancakes! Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into a pan warmed over medium-low heat. Get your cinnamon mixture and decorate your flapjack. I totally abandoned the swirl idea, since when you flip the pancake over, the pattern is basically lost anyway. So I went with drips and drops, though you could make hearts, happy faces, whatever. Just get about a tablespoon of it on every pancake.

Flip the pancakes when they are dry on the edges and bubbly in the center. Watch out! Your swirl mixture is basically hot caramel at this point, and tends to spread. I noticed that it would ball back up nicely and re-stick itself back on the pancake if you had any run-off. Nice!

This is a recipe I would absolutely make again, but it is a little time consuming. In the future, I think I would also make some vegan bacon bits and mix them with a little earth balance and maple syrup to make a delicious spread to go on top. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

Thanks, kat!