I’ve always been cold-natured, but now that I’ve lived in Texas for almost 8 years, any time that it drops below 70 degrees is a reason to put on my fuzzy socks and make a big pot of tea. I’ve been having major scone cravings to go along with the gallons of tea that I’ve been drinking lately, but I didn’t have a good go to recipe.
After some scone research, I decided to go with a British style recipe. It’s less sweet than it’s American counterpart and more cakey than biscuity. You don’t have to have cold ingredients, and you don’t have to fret about overworking the dough. There’s nothing I hate worse than tip-toeing around finicky scone dough and still having the end result come out tough. British scone dough starts out by coating the flour in fat so that it’s harder to overwork the gluten. You can knead it and roll it out without being afraid of impending hockey pucks.
Because I planned to stuff these scones with apples and cinnamon sugar, I wanted a scone recipe that would be a not to sweet vehicle to let the apples shine while still being light and fluffy. Oh, and I also wanted them to be vegan. I don’t ask for much, do I? I found that watching this video from America’s test kitchen put me on the right track. Even though I replaced the butter with coconut oil, the milk with coconut milk, and omitted the eggs all together, I used the same basic mixing method. And then I stuffed it with apple pie filing. I’m not sure if the Brits would approve, but I liked the end result.
I don’t normally do step by step instructions, but I thought it would be helpful this time. Scroll past the recipe for the steps.
So I’ve just completed my first full week of being vegan, and even though I didn’t think it would be too much of a stretch from my usual pescetarian diet, it’s been a learning experience. I’ve learned that I have to read the labels on errrything and I can no longer spoon Nutella into my mouth and call it dinner. Eating out is tricky and Thai food is my new best friend. Basically, I just have to put a lot more thought into my food and I’m shocked at how many things contain animal products.
I’ve had a few mishaps as well, such as eating honey mustard potato chips because I totally forgot that honey wasn’t vegan. It also occurred to me after I had finished drinking my favorite beer that milk stout probably isn’t vegan either. But mishaps and all, I’m still plugging along with my month long vegan experiment.
I’ve always believed that vegan baked goods were not lacking in any way, but these biscotti have me convinced. Who says biscotti need eggs? I tested several recipes before coming upon this one, and I knew it was blog worthy when I couldn’t pass by the kitchen without grabbing one. They were also deemed acceptable currency to pay Aaron (who formerly turned up his nose at biscotti) for his hand modeling skillz.
This recipe makes a small batch, because clearly, I cannot be trusted around biscotti. However, it can easily be doubled. If you like (and why wouldn’t you?), you can drizzle the biscotti with bittersweet chocolate. Can I just say how happy I am that most of my favorite dark chocolate is vegan?
It’s Small Batch Saturday! This recipe, like so many others out there in the blogosphere, was inspired by an overly ripe banana (and a chocolate craving). I made this on a whim, dumped a few ingredients I had on hand in my mixer, and ended up with a delicious chocolaty muffin. This has to be some kind of miracle, because nine times out of ten when I experiment, I end up with a gloopy mess.
Happy day after Halloween! I made you some whole wheat vegan baked goods to celebrate. You’re welcome.
We had one trick-or-treater last night, and enough candy for at least 100. This is the first Halloween in a really long time that I’ve been in a house and not an apartment, and I was sure we’d get trick-or-treaters, so I wanted to be prepared. Now we have about 10 pounds of leftover candy, some of which I may or may not have already indulged in. I think my tolerance for sugar has gone down significantly since I was of trick-or-treating age, and I definitely feel a bit of a Halloween hangover. It’s time for some detox.
This version of pumpkin bread is actually pretty healthy. I replaced the vegetable oil in the original recipe with coconut oil, and replaced the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. Whole wheat pastry flour is a great way to sneak in whole grains in cakes and breads, since the texture is more delicate than regular whole wheat flour. You could also try a half and half combo of the whole wheat and all-purpose flours.
I’ve made a few batches of this, and decided that I could do without the white sugar completely. It didn’t affect the texture negatively when I left it out, and it was plenty sweet. I did, however, add a sprinkling of crystal cinnamon sugar to the top, which is my new favorite thing. You can find the recipe for that here.
Oh, and the best part about this recipe? It’s easy, only requires one bowl, and no mixer is needed. A dump and stir recipe is pretty much all I can handle while I’m still recovering from sugar coma anyway. Serve this with a pat of vegan butter and a side of coffee. Or a green smoothie. Happy detox!
I’m having a hard time letting go of summer. Specifically, summer berries. I think it’s just a case of wanting what I can’t have. It’s the same reason I crave apples in the spring and blackberries in winter. And don’t worry, I’ve already started hoarding enough cans of pumpkin to last me through the summer.
Thank goodness for frozen fruit. I don’t know how I’d get through my mornings without the stuff. As much as I love a breakfast spread of eggs and pancakes, I can’t eat a large breakfast first thing in the morning, nor am I awake enough to cook it. If you are as adverse to mornings as I am, this is the perfect breakfast for you. Dump the ingredients in a blender, push a button, and you have a healthy, protein and antioxidant packed smoothie. Since the frozen cherries act as the ice, there’s no need to defrost them before blending.
Don’t like cherries? Feel free to sub any fruit you like (but just know that we can’t be friends). Vegan? Use any non-dairy yogurt. Don’t have almond milk? Use soy, rice, coconut, non-fat, 2%, or whole milk. The possibilities are endless. Don’t have a mason jar? Well, I don’t know what to tell you, because everything tastes better in a mason jar.
Yay, fall is almost here! Let’s bust out the pumpkin recipes and celebrate! Oh wait, it’s still 100 degrees. Every. Day. I’m not normally one to complain about the warm weather, but after just having spent a week in Colorado, it’s been hard to adjust to the heat again. You can try to convince me that it’s fall, but I’m not buyin’ it.
Ok, now that I’m done whining, let’s talk cinnamon rolls. This recipe is a mishmash of a few recipes I’ve found over the years, and is a current favorite at my house. And by favorite, I mean that they got made so often over the last few months, we called it “The Summer of Cinnamon Rolls.”
If you’ve never made cinnamon rolls from scratch, they are truly a revelation. I grew up not caring for cinnamon rolls all that much. The stuff from the can was gross, and I could barely make it through half a Cinnabon without going into a sugar coma, but when I found these cream cheese cinnamon rolls from Joy the Baker, I was hooked. I mean, there is cream cheese folded into the dough! What’s not to like? The only problem is they take forever to make, and when it comes to cinnamon rolls, patience is not on my side.
So then I tried these cinnamon rolls, which come together much faster. While I liked the ease of the recipe, there was something missing. In the end, I smooshed the two recipes together to make a quick yet delicious cinnamon roll recipe that can be made from start to finish in about 90 minutes. Oh, and I doubled the cream cheese by adding a cream cheese glaze, since I tend to double ingredients that I like (i.e. double funfetti shortbread cookies, double chocolate espresso cookies).
Generally, when I ask people if they like scones, they say no. And when I ask why, the standard answer is, “they’re dry.” Well sure, who likes dry scones? Not me. But then again, I’m generally not a fan of dry baked goods. My guess it that if you don’t like scones, you’ve probably had a stale one from a not so great bakery, or tried to make one from a mix. But when it comes to scones, there’s nothing like fresh out of the oven and made from scratch.
If you’re intimidated by making scones from scratch, don’t be. This recipe is easier than a mix! It comes together in a few minutes, and I didn’t even bother to roll it out. The dough was soft, so I just used a measuring cup to drop it onto cookie sheets. These are truly a lazy girl’s scone.
It’s been longer than I like since I have posted my last recipe. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve baked at all. My “day job” has kept me on the road for the past couple of weeks, but even though I have been away from my oven, baking has been on my mind.
Every year for the past 3 years, my woodwind quintet has done a concert tour in Northern Colorado and Wyoming. Returning home is bittersweet for me. While it’s not easy living out of a suitcase for 2 weeks, I love traveling around and playing concerts with my friends. Being back in Texas means that school is starting again. It’s time to say goodbye to berries and peaches (boy, were there some good peaches in Colorado!) and say hello to apples and pumpkins.
I started running about 3 years ago because it was a cheap way to exercise. There were no gym memberships and very little equipment involved. Now, I do it because I enjoy it, and I have decided to start training for my 2nd half marathon. You would think that running and desserts go hand in hand. The more you run, the more sweets you can eat, right? Well, not so much, at least not for me. When I run, sugar is my enemy. I cannot eat cookies and cupcakes and run 8 miles the next morning. Part of why I continue to run is because it forces me to be thoughtful about what I eat.