Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cookies and Cinnamon Rolls



The title of this post says it all. Cookies and cinnamon rolls comprised a large portion of my winter "break" (I put break in quotes because between working on my final law school paper, working and finishing finals it didn't feel like much of a break - which probably explains why I baked so many sweets). Normally, I'm not a huge sweets-eater but winter break was unusually sugary this year.

I like to think others benefited from my baking - I gave away a LOT of cookies this year :) I also ate a lot of them. Then I had to do a sugar fast because I got to the point where I felt like I was craving sugar all the time! No bueno! It really only takes a week to cutting way back on processed sugars to get back on track though :)


All of the recipes I made were from Chloe Coscarelli's newest book Chloe's Vegan Desserts. Chloe did a book tour when she was promoting this book and stopped in Portland. My dad and I had planned on attending but I was unable to at the last minute. My dad, being the awesome dad and best friend that he is, decided to go to her presentation on his own. After she was done speaking, he went to get this book signed for me and ended up talking to Chloe for 15-20 minutes.  This is my book:

 

Isn't that just the best? Haha apparently they got along famously (jealous!)

And Chloe really is the best. She is a phenomenal baker (obvi. - she won "Cupcake Wars" AND "Cupcake Wars Champions" with her vegan creations). Every single thing (which is most everything in the book at this point) that I have made out of this cookbook has turned out absolutely incredible. I don't even want to use any other recipes. 

I'm tellin' ya, Chloe knows her stuff. 


Alright, first on the docket: CHLOE-O's

They are delicious, healthier, homemade Oreos! The best! This recipe makes about 16 sandwich cookies.

Chocolate Cookie

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 3 Tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Filling

  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Cookies

In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking soda until combined. Add margarine, milk, and vanilla. Process until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Chill the dough in the refrigerator, covered, for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (I used a Silpat). Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and place onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each ball. Evenly flatten the dough with the palm of your hand so that it is about 1/4 inch thick and bake for about 12 minutes. Let cool on the pan. 

For the Filling

Using a mixer, beat shortening and margarine until smooth and fluffy. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.

To Assemble
Spread a layer of filling on the flat bottom side of a cookie. Place the flat bottom side of another cookie on top of the filling. Lightly press the cookies together. Repeat with remaining cookies.


So, technically, the next recipe is for "Pumpkin-Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing" but I made them sans cranberries and they turned out just beautifully. I just wanted to hit the maple/pumpkin hard and while I do love cranberries, I decided to keep this recipe just slightly simpler.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls w/Maple Icing

For the Dough

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or cooked fresh
  • 1 cup soy, almond or rice milk
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided (also some extra for rolling!)

For the Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon (or 4 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice)
  • 4 Tbsp vegan margarine, melted


For the Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1-3 Tbsp non-dairy milk

To make the Dough

1. In a medium saucepan, whisk pumpkin purée, nondairy milk, 1/2 cup sugar, margarine and salt over low heat until combined. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let it cool until very warm to the touch, about 110 degrees.

2. While the pumpkin mixture is cooling, place the warm water, remaining 1 Tbsp sugar and yeast in a glass measuring cup. Stir for a second or two and set aside for about 10 minutes. The yeast will become foamy, double in size, and reach the 3/4-cup line. If it does not do so, then the yeast is dead or the water was not at the proper temperature, so make another yeast mixture before proceeding.

3. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, combine the pumpkin mixture and the yeast mixture, and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low, and add 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat until incorporated and add the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat for 1 more minute. The dough will be somewhat wet and sticky. Change to a dough hook attachment and knead on medium speed for 2 minutes, or place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes by hand. If needed, add more flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.

4. Transfer the dough to a large well-oiled bowl and rotate the ball of dough, so that it is completely covered with oil. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl as it rises. Cover with a dry kitchen towel and place in a warm part of the kitchen. Let it sit until it has doubled in volume (about 1 1/2 hours).

5. Remove the kitchen towel and punch your fist in the center of the dough, so that the dough deflates. Take the dough out and put it on a floured surface, cover with the kitchen towel, and let rest for about 10 minutes.


To make the Filling + to Assemble

1. Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch pan. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into approximately a 20- x 13-inch rectangle. Brush or spread the melted margarine over the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the surface of the dough. 

3. With the long end toward you, roll the dough up evenly. With the seam side down, use a sharp knife to cut the log in half. Then cut each half into 6 equal pieces. You will have 12 cinnamon rolls. Place the rolls, cut side up, into the prepared pan, in 4 rows with 3 rolls in each row, leaving some space between them. Cover with a dry kitchen towel and place in a warm part of the kitchen until the rolls have risen again and expanded, about 1 hour.

4. Once the cinnamon rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 375. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned on top. You can poke inside with a toothpick to make sure they are fully cooked through before removing them from the oven. Let the rolls cool for about 10 minutes before glazing.


To make the icing:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin puree and 1 tbsp milk at a time, until smooth.

2. Drizzle the icing over the rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.


I also made Chloe's basic chocolate chip cookie recipe! Except I made them mini. Mini cookies (like the size of silver dollars) with mini chocolate chips. This is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe! It's a win every time (you will have to buy the book to get it, though! I can't include everything on here ;)



Live long and prosper, lovers! And enjoy all things sweet <3 


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