Tag Archives: make-ahead

Vegan SIN-amon Rolls

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I wasn’t sure if I should share this recipe or just keep it to myself so I alone look amazing when I waltz into a potluck brunch with these babies in tow.  Alas, I want to eat them more often, so I thought if I can get this out there to my vegan friends, they also would develop a mild addiction and want to make them frequently as well thereby getting them into my face more often.

I’ve had this cookbook Vegan Brunch on my bookshelf FOREVER, and never even cracked the binding.  Honestly, when is the last time you attended a brunch?  Yeah, me either.  A few months ago however, my friends Kolene and Jon hosted, you guessed it, a VEGAN BRUNCH!  I made curried tofu scramble, but Jon….he made these rolls and probably other delicious things-but THESE I was frankly obsessed with and had to get more of.  When I asked for the recipe he directed me to Vegan Brunch, you know the book collecting dust on my shelf.  I went home and made them that night, pigged out on them at midnight with Mr. Wonderful, then brought a batch to work the next day (the recipe made a TON of rolls) to test on my coworkers.  In case you were wondering how to score serious favors at work for a while, bake cinnamon rolls in your office kitchen, then serve them to your friends.  They become even more helpful in their sugary comas.

Caution, these take a while to make.  You are MAKING cinnamon rolls-like “from scratch”, not just baking them off from the frozen food section at Meijer, so there are steps involved.  Do not skip them, do not rush them.  And by all means….MEASURE, this is baking, you know…like chemistry and crap, so you need to be precise.  If you haven’t worked with yeast before, check out this link to keep you from throwing in the towel prematurely.


  • 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 c sugar + 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 c lukewarm water
  • 3/4 c non-dairy milk, room temperature (I used coconut milk)
  • 1/3 c canola oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 1/4 – 4 c flour


  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 2 T flour

To roll

  • 1/4 c Earth Balance (soy margarine, non-hydrogenated)
  • also, a great deal of patience and an uncluttered work space


  • 1 C powdered sugar (10x)
  • 1-1/2 – 2 T non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk here too)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Proof yeast by putting yeast into half the lukewarm water with the 1 tsp of sugar. Let sit, make sure it bubbles so you know your little organisms are hungry, alive and well.  Mix the rest of the dough ingredients together, add proofed yeast mix. Knead for 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and let rise 1 hour. Punch the dough down and let rest 10 more minutes.

Make the filling (mix together ingredients above for filling).

Roll out dough to 12″ x18″ (or whatever you get frankly-mine was a little larger) on a floured clean, flat surface. Sprinkle filling over the dough evenly, dot with small chunks of the Earth Balance.

Roll from the long side. Go slowly and get it as tight as possible.  This for me is the most difficult part. I can’t even roll up my yoga mat without having it all cock-eyed, so this dough rolling part is torture for me.  Do the best you can.  When they bake, no one will know you had edges that were not perfect as they will be too busy cramming the final product into their pie-holes.

Oil or spray any kind of pan you like really. I used two pie plates so I could bake one now, and take one to work in an unbaked state later. Cut the roll into half to one inch pieces pieces and place close together in the prepared pan. I used dental floss to cut through the dough so that I didn’t smash the dough.

Cover with towel, let rise for 30-45 minutes in a warm location. I usually put it on the stove, above the pilot lights.  These can also be stored in the fridge overnight without losing any of the yumminess to be baked off the next morning, just cover in plastic wrap. The next morning when you are preheating the oven (below) leave on the counter until they hit just about room temp.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 18-2o minutes-the smaller your rolls when they go in, the less time you need, check them regularly to make sure they aren’t burning, they should be lightly browned. Make icing while it bakes.

Drizzle with the icing as soon as you remove from the oven.

Adapted from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Featured on The Mode Life.

Just Because I Didn’t Make It From Scratch, Doesn’t Mean I Couldn’t, It Just Means I Didn’t [want to]

There are certain things I don’t make from scratch because frankly, the effort is not worth the reward:  ice cream, mayo, cheese, tofu, and I NEVER, ever, make my own veg burgers [sidebar: my friend Jon Dunn says to never attempt to make your own vegan tamales, from scratch, and if he makes a statement like that, I absolutely believe him-no tamales will grace my kitchen].  I make everything else from scratch.  I make SALAD DRESSING [granted it’s usually just 2-3 ingredients] for the love of God, from scratch!  The veg burgers in the grocer’s freezer are pretty much delightful so why tamper with perfection?  I’ll tell you why, I ran across these slider buns at Meijer on a recent shopping trip [damn you marketing marvels] and today I find myself making Heidi’s Ultimate Veggie Burgers to take to a holiday party, certainly from scratch…in fact, I just made my own bread crumbs as Meijer in all its greatness, doesn’t sell WHOLE WHEAT breadcrumbs, which I personally think is some kind of hate crime.  I digress, and give you, The Ultimate Veggie Burger recipe:

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  • 2 1/2 cups canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Grated zest of one large lemon
  • 1 cup micro sprouts, chopped (try brocolli, onion, or alfalfa sprouts – optional)
  • 1 cup toasted (whole-grain) bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)

Combine the garbanzos, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into twelve 1 1/2-inch-thick patties. I err on the moist side here, because it makes for a nicely textured burger. You can always add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. Conversely, a bit of water or more egg can be used to moisten the batter.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low, add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties.

For the sake of time and volume (I doubled this recipe so needed 24 sliders), I baked them on a rimmed sheet pan (heavily greased) at 400 degrees until they were golden brown but not dry (check them every 5-6 minutes, and flip when one side browns).  I kept these in the fridge until I was ready to serve them in the afternoon, then reheated them briefly on a grill top before serving.

Makes 12 mini burgers.