Baking: Glazed Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

485 calories

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For the unmodified original recipe (i.e. how to make them properly and not the lazy way), go here

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Makes 12 cinnamon rolls.  Preparation Time: About three hours.

Approximately 486 calories for 1/12 recipe.  Calories in the whole batch: 5,836.

Additional Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Carbs 81g, Fat 18g, Protein 4g, Sodium 210mg, Sugar 54g

Tools

Mixing Bowls, Measuring Cups/Spoons, Wooden Spoon, Cooking Pot, Rolling Pin, Medium-Sized Square Baking Pan, Wax Paper, and an Oven.

Materials

  • 1/2 Cup Warm Water: 0 Calories
  • Approx. 3-1/2 Cups Flour
    + Great Value All-Purpose White Flour: 1,400 calories for 3 1/2 cups.
  • Approx. 3/4 Cup White Sugar: 580 calories
  • 2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar: 113 calories
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp Powdered Sugar: 25 calories
  • Approx. 1-1/2 Cups Margarine
    + Earth Balance: 1,920 for 1-1/2 cups.
  • 1/2 Cup Nut Milk
    + Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Cashew Milk: 13 calories for 1/2 cup.
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Packet of Quick-Rise Yeast: About 21 calories.
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon: 25 calories.
  • Cooking Spray

Preparation

Step 1. Gather your gun cleaning kit (responsible gun parents always keep their firearms sparkling clean) because baking is boring and you’ll need something to do while the dough rises.

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Step 2. Warm the 1/2 cup of water and dissolve 1 tbsp of white sugar in it.  Sprinkle in the packet of yeast.  Let the yeast sit in the bowl for around 7 minutes until foamy.

Step 3. Mix 2 cups of flour in a bowl with 1/2 cup melted margarine, 1/2 cup nut milk, 1/3 cup sugar, and a tsp of salt.  Add the yeast mixture and stir until combined.

Step 4. Add the yeast mixture to the dough along with another 1/2 cup of flour.  Stir until combined.  It will be a sticky mess.

Step 5. Knead in additional flour until the dough is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky.  You’ll need to add quite a few handfuls.  Spray some cooking spray on to your hands if you want so that it won’t stick to you.

Step 6. Spray a bowl with cooking spray and insert doughball.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise about 1 hour until doubled.  Or, do what I did and make the dough, leave to eat dinner at a restaurant, and get back to the dough at some indeterminate time in the future.

Step 7. Make the pan sauce (see recipe below) and coat the bottom of your baking pan.

Step 8. Wash any gun oil off your hands and lay out some wax paper.  Sprinkle it with a light coating of flour. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it seems “big enough.”  The dough sheet should be vaguely rectangular in shape.

Step 9. Butter the surface with 1/4 cup melted margarine.

Step 10. Prepare your spice mix.  Add some cinnamon to some quantity of sugar, about 1-1/2 cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar.

Step 11. Sprinkle the sugar/spice mix over the buttered surface of the dough until it’s well-coated.  Avoid getting too much of it on the edges.

Step 12. Roll the dough up into a tube.  Start rolling at the shorter side of the rectangle.

Step 13. Cut the dough into 12 pieces.  You might want to cut the ends off and discard them so that all the rolls have nice, flat tops.  Put them in the baking pan spaced slightly apart.

Step 14. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes in the oven with the light on (no heat).  Or, if you’ll be baking them tomorrow, put them in the fridge and take them out up to 18 hours later, then place them in the oven for 20 minutes with the light on, preheat, and proceed to the next step.

Step 15. Bake for about 27 minutes at 350 degrees F and remove when the rolls are golden brown in spots.  When they’re almost finished cooking, start preparing the glaze (see below).

Step 16. Remove the rolls from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Glaze or frost the rolls and serve.

Pan Sauce Recipe

  • 1/4 Cup Margarine
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Melt the butter in a pot, add a few spoonfuls of brown sugar.  Stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens.  Coat the bottom of the pan with the resulting syrup.

Glaze Recipe

  • 1/2 Cup Margarine
  • 2-3 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Melt the butter in a pot, add the vanilla and few spoonfuls of powdered sugar.  The less sugar, the more buttery the flavor.  Cook on high and stir until it becomes thick.  Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then drizzle on the rolls.

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Miscellanea: Mel

My brother, The ProFit, was complaining that no one ever gets to see the fruit of his efforts.   I reminded him that I post everything he does on the internet.

He spent like 15 minutes scraping away at a watermelon before I realized what he was doing.  Then I turn around and see this thing.

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Yes, this WAS the best use The ProFit’s valuable time.  Why do you ask?

Boredom is a powerful motivator.

Baking: Leche Flan

300 calories

I recently learned this recipe from my Puerto Rican great aunt.  She’s completely nuts and yells at you if you’re standing idle in the kitchen while she’s cooking, but her culinary skills are on point.

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Makes 1 large or several small custards.  Preparation time about an hour and forty-five minutes.

Approximately 292 calories for 1/12 recipe.  Calories in the whole batch: 3,500.

Additional Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Carbs 41g, Fat 9g, Protein 10g, Sodium 120g, Sugar 41g

Tools

Measuring Cups/Spoons, Aluminum Pot, Wooden Spoon, Mixing Bowls, Whisk or Fork, Strainer, Bake-Safe Bowl, and an Oven.

Materials/Preparation

Flan has two main components.  The first is the custard, the second is the layer of caramelized sugar.  They must be prepared separately.

To make the caramelized sugar topping:

  • 1 Cup Granulated White Sugar (774 Calories)
  • About 1/2 Cup Water

Pour the sugar and 1/4 cup water into a high-walled, aluminum pot.  Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and allow the sugar to brown.  You can stir occasionally with a wooden spoon or add more water if you need to.  Once the sugar has changed color, pour it in the bowl in which you intend to bake the flan.

Protip: Caramelized sugar is a pain to clean.  Boil some water in the dirtied pot to get the residue off the bottom.

Now you can make the custard.  You need:

  • 2 Cans Evaporated Milk
    + Coburn Farms Evaporated Milk: 960 calories for 24 oz.
  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
    + Coburn Farms Sweetened Condensed Milk: 1,300 calories for 14 oz.
  • 6 Eggs (70 calories each.)
  • 1-2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt

Crack the eggs in a bowl and beat them with a fork.  Place a strainer over a mixing bowl and pour the egg slime into it to remove the fetus nubs (or whatever those stringy bits are).  Add the milk, vanilla, and a dash of salt.  Combine well and pour into the bake-safe, caramel-coated bowl.

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Bake the flan for about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Flip the contents of the bowl onto a plate and allow to cool.  Serve warm, or refrigerate for a few hours and serve cold.  Don’t forget to drizzle the slices with the sugar syrup.

Light Meals: Root Vegetable Roast

330 calories

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New dishes mean an excuse to show off new guns.

The ProFit and I recently went on a mini road trip to West Virginia.  We stopped at the local Walmart, where my brother noticed beets for sale.  He bought two on a whim, leaving me asking myself (and him), “Ew, what the heck am I supposed to do with these?”  After scouring the internet for ideas, I decided on a turnip/carrot/beet roast.  At the very least, I figured the other vegetables would overpower the weird beet flavor.

I chopped up four turnips, the two beets, then added a small bag of baby cut carrots.  I dumped them onto a baking sheet (I don’t have a roasting pan–don’t judge) and coated them with a little canola oil.  I also added a drizzle of fat-free balsamic salad dressing (I don’t have any balsamic vinaigrette, either–don’t judge), plus a sprinkling of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and minced garlic.  Cook that for an hour in the oven at 400 degrees F and, hey, you have food.

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Italian craftsmanship ❤

When we move out of the city and have our own garden, I suspect we’ll be making this meal a lot as a cheap way to stay alive.

True story: We bought the turnips at our local grocery store.  There was a sign above the turnips that read something like: “Turnips: a vegetable having white skin with a purple tint.”  I was laughing at how basic that description was until we got to the checkout line and the cashier asked us what vegetable it was we were buying.  I guess city folk don’t actually know what turnips are.

Cashiers are always confused by portabello mushrooms, too.  They ask us, “What kind of mushrooms are these?”  Every.  Single.  Time.  Do these people not eat anything that doesn’t come pre-assembled in a cardboard box?

Light Meals: Uyghur-Style Four Peppers

The Angelist Cookbook, once again presenting only the finest recipes.

As you may or may not know, my brother (The ProFit), bases most of our staple recipes on things he’s tried in restaurants.  Being the jefe at his workplace, he sometimes has to go out to eat with his co-workers.  This means he ends up trying a variety of semi-exotic fare that I, working from home, don’t.

Sometimes, our system works well.  He brings an idea back home with the intention of finding a way to make it on the cheap.  Other times, however, we get something like the following:

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The knife is something The ProFit bought in Afghanistan.  There are Uyghurs working in Afghanistan.  That’s a good enough justification to feature it here.

How did this happen?  The ProFit ordered a dish called “Four Peppers” at some Uyghur-style restaurant.  No, it wasn’t a stir-fry featuring four different types of peppers.  It was literally four peppers on a plate.  And it cost $9.

He made this “dish” at home, too.  I think he felt that, by doing so, it would somehow offset the fact he had to pay nine bucks for a few cents worth of peppers.  I should tell you that he modified the recipe somewhat–the nine-dollar peppers he received still had the stems on them.

Eating out: it’s highway robbery, I tell ya.  Where we live, you can easily pay twenty Uncle Sam Funbucks™ for a veggie burger.  All the more reason to never leave the apartment.

Baking: Vegan Chocolate

681 calories

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You learn a lot about the food you eat when you make it yourself. In particular, you get a sense for the constituent parts of any dish (rather than viewing it as a whole).  That tasty cake you’re eating?  It’s just flour, oil, and sugar.  That muffin, loaf of bread, or cookie?  Same thing.  In fact, almost everything we eat is the same handful of ingredients arranged in slightly different ways.  Food is not actually more than the sum of its parts, is what I’m saying.

The takeaway is this: if you cook, you become more conscious about food.  Really conscious.  I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, but I’m not one to shy away from cold, harsh truths.  I honestly think, as obvious as it may seem, that the apparent “diversity” of food is an illusion is a reality most people miss–especially if all you eat is processed junk (soy and corn, corn and soy, more soy and corn).

Chocolate is a great example of this.  I’ve always wondered why it’s so high in calories.  I mean, it’s just cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and sugar.  But, what is cocoa butter, fundamentally?

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Solid at room temperature, but oil nonetheless.

It’s oil.  You’re eating sugar and cocoa powder suspended in oil.

Well, let’s make some chocolate!

Nutrition Information (Entire Base Recipe)

Calories (681), Carbs (54g), Fat (58g), Protein (8g), Sodium (0g), Sugar (29g)

Ingredients: Cocoa butter (4 Tbsp), cocoa powder (1/2 Cup), confectioner’s sugar (1/4 Cup).

Preparation: Heat the cocoa butter in a saucepan until it melts.  Add the other stuff.  Stir.  Pour into container of some kind.  Let harden in fridge.  Done.

That’s really all there is to it.  Chocolate has this reputation of being a finicky luxury item.  Maybe it is if you want like, silky smooth tempered milk chocolate.  I’m not so refined, which is good because I’m also extremely sloppy and lazy.

Now, me being completely unable to follow even the simplest of instructions, here’s how I actually made the chocolates.  I dumped a random amount of cocoa butter into the pot, eyeballed the sugar, and threw in enough Hershey’s cocoa powder until the turned dark brown.  Then I stirred and added more crap until the chocolate was kinda thick.  Then I poured the goop into silicone moulds I bought off Amazon for five bucks and let it set in the fridge.  Some of the moulds had coconut shavings in them (because I can).

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*Yawn*

Anti-climatic, right?  Exactly my point.  Also, now that I’ve made chocolate, I don’t want to eat it.  Especially because I hate Hershey’s.  Ugh, this is like the Injera Incident all over again.