Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Christmas Brunch

Merry Vegan Christmas!!
This is the third Christmas I have spent with my wonderful boyfriend and mom and we are creating Christmas traditions right and left.
Every year, my mom demands homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. So, naturally, every year I try a different recipe. This year, I used a recipe inspired by Chloe Coscarelli (Winner of Cupcakes Wars - twice - and publisher of 2 BOMB cook books).
It was hands down the best vegan cinnamon roll recipe I've come across. She knows her stuff, thank is for dang sure. Sorry for the questionable presentation - I literally just stuffed as many rolls into this pan as possible so they were a little wonky coming out of the oven :)

Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Scant 1/4 cup WARM (not hot) water
  • 1 envelope yeast
  • 4 cups flour
For the Filling
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp Earth Balance

For the Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp orange juice

Heat the almond milk, sugar, salt, and Earth Balance in a small saucepan over low heat until the margarine is just melted. Remove from heat and add vanilla. set aside to cool until warm to the touch.

Place the warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast in a 1-cup measuring cup. This is a really useful way to tell if your yeast is still alive and will allow your dough to rise. Stir everything together for a few seconds and then set aside for 10 minutes. The yeast will double in size and should reach aboutm the 3/4 cup line. If not throw it out and get either cooler water (if it's too hot it will kill the yeast) or new yeast.

In your kitchenaid or other mixer, beat Earth Balance mixture with yeast mixture on medium for about 2 minutes. Then, on low, add the flour slowly. Beat until fully combined.

Remove dough from mixing bowl and place on a lightly floured surface and knead about 2 minutes with your hands. Then place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover and set aside until the dough has doubled in size (between an hour and two hours). Once the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface.

Meanwhile, prepare your filling! Combine all ingredients except Earth Balance in a small bowl. Melt the earth balance until it is spreadable. Spread it over the surface of the dough and then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture over the entire rectangle.

With the long end towards you, roll the dough into a long log. Gently press the seam together so it doesn't unravel. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into equal pieces until you have your desired number of rolls. Place the rolls into a greased baking tray and then cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for an additional hour or so.
Then, bake the rolls uncovered in a 375 degree oven. Allow them to cool slightly before glazing :)

For the Glaze

Combine powdered sugar and orange juice in a medium bowl and stir with a whisk unil smooth. Add more powdered sugar or orange juice as needed. Drizzle glaze over cinnamon rolls.

Sounds like a lot of steps but I promise they are super easy and SO worth it.

These cinnamon rolls were SO good. I'm tellin ya. My mom said they were her favorite of all the ones I have made. I'll probably even repeat this recipe next year...

BUT the cinnamon rolls were not all that graced our brunch table.

My personal favorite part was the mimosas made with fresh squeezed orange juice from the Vitamix. The mimosas were well deserved after the brutal run Colin, myself and my mom's boyfriend went on that morning. Pouring rain and a nasty head wind. And that was AFTER I'd been up for 2 hours getting all the food prepped. No wonder those mimosas tasted so good...

There was also my obligatory fruit salad. I make fruit salad for every holiday. It's just the best. Nothing says holidays and family cheer like fruit salad!


 Aaand the meat (not-meat) centerpiece of our brunch was a GIANT field roast loaf (now carried by Costco woo woo!) atop a slew of roasted seasonal veggies.
Pictured above are: zucchini, tomatoes, red onions, carrots, butternut squash, asparagus, mushroom and garlic.
This was an absolutely perfect way to start of Christmas. A beautiful start to a beautiful day.
In other Christmas houses - Colin's incredible roommate decorated their place and I took some pictures to really just beat in the Christmas spirit.
In case I didn't already tell you enough how much I love Christmas ;)
Pretty, right?
That's all I have for now, lovers. I hope you enjoyed your holidays as much as I did and that you are having a wonderful New Year.
Live Long and Prosper. And achieve your New Years Resolutions!!

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