Saturday, July 3, 2010

Kitchen Cleanup and Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Alas I forgot to take a picture of the delicious cinnamon rolls I made before they were snarfed down, so you're stuck with a pic of my highly organized pantry.  Since I started shopping at our local, farmer's market grocery store, I've been purchasing a lot of items in bulk.  Grains, dry beans, dried fruit, flours, sugars, nuts, seeds, you name it.  The problem was that my pantry quickly filled up with wispy bags that crinkled obnoxiously when you reaching for the peanut butter and hindered my ability to find ingredients.  My bottom shelf of my pantry was just "baking", which meant it was next to impossible to find anything since it was all plastic baggies from the bulk bins.

After reading Green and Crunchy as I mentioned in my previous blog post, I was inspired to rectify this atrocity.  For as much time I spend in the kitchen, it should be organized and neat, not a jumble of bags.  I popped out and bought some bell jars and some of those plastic lids and went to town.

Things I discovered during this process:
- I have no clue what is actually in my pantry.  I had four, count them, four bags of wheat flour in my pantry.  I don't even use wheat flour that often, which makes this especially painful (I prefer WWPF and spelt).
- Many of these bags had holes in them, which meant that quinoa was rolling around in my pantry.  This is not good, since last summer I had to deal with a serious ant infestation in my pantry.  This meant I needed to scrub down my shelves and be diligent about sweeping.
- I didn't buy enough jars.  Even with the 24 quart jars I purchased, plus some of the jars I have around my house (I've been saving the glass ones like from applesauce and jams), I still didn't have enough.  Sadly, this means there are still a few plastic baggies floating around containing 5 dried apples, or a cup or two of almonds I couldn't fit in the jar.

Now to the good stuff: Cinnamon Rolls.  If you really want a picture to get your taste buds going, check out this one.

Okay, this doesn't really deserve directions.  To set the stage, I like to make brunch for my mom and pop for their corresponding "days" (Mother's and Father's Days).  A couple of years ago, when I was still vegetarian, I made a rip off version of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls.  They were soooo good; tasted just right and oh so wrong.

This time around, I was concerned because I am now a vegan.  Will I still be able to pull off cinnamon rolls without eggs, butter, milk, and cream cheese?  The answer was a resounding YES!

Don't get me wrong, these rolls are by no means healthy, however they are extremely tasty.  I was able to leverage the cinnamon roll recipe I used before by switching out the nonvegan ingredients.  I used Earth Balance for any butter mentioned, Tofutti cream cheese for the cream cheese, almond milk for the milk, and 2 tbsp ground flax seed + 6 tbsp hot water for the 2 eggs.

You don't need to make it in a bread machine like the recipe states.  I made the dough, put it in a bowl with a damp towel over it, and put it in a warm oven (heat to 200F and then turn off), and let rise for an hour.  These came out just as brilliantly as the original batch did, but completely vegan!

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