Apple Cider Donuts and The Great American Past-Time

That’s football, right? I think that’s football.  Or is it just anything with a ball?  Regardless, I made some damn donuts to get us all through the whole televised bonanza.  And I didn’t happen to save one for Tim Tebow.

Great people came over to make jokes about tight-ends and wide receivers over coffee.  Since I couldn’t think of any zingers, I resigned myself to the kitchen to slave over a big pot of oil.  One must know one’s place in life.  How about the recipe for these sweet looking hottie babes?

Apple Cider Donuts

(graciously poached from Herbivore Dinosaur)

So here is what you will need for the dough:
3 1/2 c. flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tbsp Earth Balance or vegan butter substitute
1 cup vegan sugar
2 egg equivalents of Ener-G
1/2 c. soy milk
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 c. apple cider

for frying:
36 oz. of vegan shortening
candy thermometer

Since 1 c. apple cider is too much liquid for a standard recipe, what we are going to do is reduce this cup down to about 1/4 cup apple cider. This way, the flavor is extra concentrated into the smaller, correct amount of liquid. Use a small pot, and on medium heat, let this simmer down to a 1/4 c, this might take somehere around 20 – 30 minutes, so make sure to start this step first. Then, when you have about 10 minutes left, take your 1/2 cup soy milk and add your 1 tbsp vinegar and let sit for the remaining 10 minutes that the apple cider is reducing. The vinegar and soy milk combo creates a liquid similar to buttermilk. I discovered this trick during my research where something said you can use regular milk and vinegar to create “buttermilk” in a pinch. So I thought…hey, why not try it out with soy milk? You will notice that almost right away the soy milk will thicken up quite a lot. While all of this is going on, you can also grab an additional bowl and mix your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

When you have the apple cider reduced, and you soy “buttermilk” ready, begin to make the batter by mixing your sugar and butter until it is smooth, light and almost a tiny bit fluffy. Add about half of the Ener-G mixture and mix well until incorporated, then add remaining Ener-G mix. At some point you might have to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add your 1/4 c. apple cider, then slowly add your soy “buttermilk,” then turn down the setting on your mixerslowly and carefully add your bowl of dry ingredients to the batter and mix until everything is a nice and smooth dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle flour onto it, toss your dough onto the flour coated parchment paper and knead a few times. Add a bit of flour if your dough is still really sticky. Using you hands, press out the dough until it is about a 1/2 inch thick and set in the freezer for about 20 – 30 minutes.

Now for the fun part! Take your flattened out dough out of the freezer and using a circular cookie cutter about 3 inches wide, cut out donuts and place onto another baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly sprinkled with flour. After you have cut out as many donuts as you can get out of your dough, knead it together and flatten back out to a 1/2 inch thick sheet and repeat. Once you have gone through all of your dough and cut out all of your donuts, use a circular cookie cutter that is 1 inch wide, and use it to cut out the center of each of your donuts.


Throw these guys back into the freezer for about 20 minutes. While they are in the freezer, prepare your workspace for frying your donuts. I used about 1 1/2 tubs of vegan shortening, each tub containing 24 oz. I also used a medium sized sauce pan and fried 2 donuts at once. I did it this way, because to get a large pot or pan with enough oil for frying, you would need a huge amount of oil or shortening, and I did not want to go that way, and I found my mini-frying station set up I had worked just fine. Onto the kind of gross part, put your 36 oz of shortening into the pan, and heat until it is liquid and reaches 350 degrees, try to keep your frying liquid at this temp.

Take your donuts out of the freezer and using a slotted metal spoon or sorts, or something that will not melt in hot oil, VERY gently place 2 donuts into the frying liquid. They will sink to the bottom and then slowly float up to the top. After about a minute and a half, flip each donut and let it fry for the same amount of time on the other side.

When done, take your slotted spoon, and place on some paper towels to drain. Repeat with each donut and all of those cute donut holes! I found I could fry about 5-6 donut holes at once without the temp dropping and keeping everything consistant.

I also make a little bit of cinnamon glaze for about half of my donuts by mixing together 1 c. powdered sugar with a few tbsps of soy milk to get it to the thickness of frosting you like, and adding 1 tsp of cinnamon. I poured this onto a plate, and then dipped each donut into the frosting and let them harden up.

Oh my effing G you guys.  These donuts are intense.  Like they might make you yell a little.  Probably the greatest part about them, aside from tasting like autumnal heaven just kicked you in the mouth, is that there is no cholesterol anywhere to be found here!  I stopped eating donuts (and many other things like that) long ago when I discovered that I had high cholesterol levels.  Let it be known that I was a healthy, active teenager (teenager!) at the time.  So, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a donut.  I did get to snag one from Voodoo the last time I was in Portland, but there’s really nothing like a fresh, warm, fluffy, beautiful homemade donut and a cup of coffee.  These made me so happy.  And if you’re like me, you’ll serve them in a bowl, because you’re an idiot.

This recipe made me about a 2 dozen donuts and the same amount of donut holes.  I would recommend that you use 1 cup of soy milk instead of 1/2 cup … not sure if that was a typo, but the dough won’t come together without more liquid.  So try these!  If you’re still snowed in, if you’re hosting brunch,  if you’re breaking someone’s heart, if you’re wooing a senator – all good times for frying dough.

Bake Sale Success aka Partying With the Haiti-ins.

Remember this scene?  Well, we made some serious room at the table yesterday.

At the Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti at Locali we raised … (drumroll please) … $3285.43!!  Which will all be sent to Doctors Without Borders for relief in Haiti!  Thank you so much to everyone who came out and loaded up on goodies.  Thanks especially to Beth who completely bought me out (and several other people) at the end of the day! These pictures are courtesy of the lovely Ashley.

Haitian Flag Cupcakes!

S’Mores Explosion Cupcakes by Alix!

The greatest guy ever!

My Oatmeal Cream Pies!  I also had Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies and Fat-Free Berry Bran Muffins that all sold out!  Hooray!

And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti – Los Angeles Edition

Location: Locali

5825 Franklin Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90028-5609

(323) 466-1360

Date: Jan 31st

Time: 11am – 4pm

All proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders for medical relief in Haiti.  Locali will also be donating a portion of their sales that day.  Gluten, soy, nut, and rice free items will be available, and everything will be egg, dairy, and honey free.

The associated PPK post is located here and the Facebook invite is here.

My bakery, Bunny Muffin Bakery, will be there with goodies galore!  Hope to see you then!

Two Weeks into 2010 and All Jacked Up on Coffee

I want to lay out some guidelines for myself in 2010 with a somewhat public audience.  This way I can feel the pressure of all your judgemental stares and I might actually hold myself to it.  Key word: might.

Here are my goals!  Please please please stare at me judgementally.

1. Complete my first Half Marathon.

2. Create something every day.  Be it art, music, writing, a new recipe, etc.  There are always a few minutes in the day for making something and I’m all too often spending those few minutes watching the Food Network or figuring out which celebrity is preggerz omggg.

3. Cut out negativity and stop comparing myself to other people.  This should be number one but I’d like to be able to cross off my #1 definitively at the end of the year.  This one I can handle shading in a little bit.  What?  I feel those reprimanding glares.  I’m working on it.

4. Drive less, bike more.  Yeah, I can rationalize owning a Prius and being an environmentalist yuppie until I’m blue in the face, but it’s still burning up gas.  Plus, biking makes everyone happy!  Especially the people in cars who honk angrily and speed past you when you’re on the side of the road because damnit I have to be somewhere and I’m very busy and important and I’m going to show you what a busy important person I am and how fast my car can go!!

5. Pay more attention to this blog!  It makes me happy!  Remember?  I’d like to redesign it.  It’s been around for almost two years now and deserves a little cut & color, a little facial, a day at the spa.

That’s not so hard is it?  You guys have any other good ones I’m forgetting?  Planting trees?  Saving drowning babies/puppies?  Never writing something like this again?

Two Dudes Review: BabycakesNYC in LA!

I’ve decided to employ two good gentlemen for a new feature entitled “Two Dudes Review.” These dudes are not vegan.  These dudes aren’t health food fanatics.  They are dudes.  One of them could feasibly kill you with his big toe using Krav Maga.  The other likes to send phone pictures of his greasiest meatiest lunches to me.  Neither one of them likes sweets very much.  I am going to feed them vegan food and see what happens.  Someone might lose an eye.  This is going to be very exciting.

For the first review, I took a stroll downtown to check out the new Babycakes location! I didn’t want to bore you with my review because I love this place.  I wanted a review from someone with completely different taste buds.   Hence the dudes.  Babycakes is next door to Cole’s – hello!  I already like this idea.  After a few dry martinis, a late night cupcake?  Yeah?  You like that?

This location, in accord with the one in NYC, is cute as hell. Bright and airy with a feminine kick, it reminds me of when my friend Bethany and I used to sneak into her big sister’s room to steal her clothes.  I don’t know why it reminds me of that, but it might have something to do with pink.

Babycakes’ owner, Erin McKenna was in full effect when I came in and I managed to snag her attention to babble some incoherancies about how great it is that they’ve opened in LA.  Bonus points: Erin’s mom was there!  She must be so proud to see her daughter running a great (now bi-coastal!) business.

After selecting some of my favorites, I ran back to Echo Park (salivating – I’m gross) to let the magic begin.  Let’s go item by item and I’ll tell you what the fellas thought.  We’ll call them Daryl and My Other Brother Daryl*.

Gluten Free Chocolate Donut

Daryl: “That’s vegan?  It’s good.  I used to work at a Krispy Kreme so I know donuts … this is something I would definitely buy with a cup of coffee.”

My Other Brother Daryl: “Is that?  Lemony?  Citrus?  It’s good.”

Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf

D: “This is good.  I’d rather eat my mom’s banana bread but…” This was said as he took another bite.  And another.

MOBD: “It’s pretty good.  I don’t like the chocolate chips in there – too much chocolate, but it’s nice because it’s not too sweet.”

Gluten-Free Cornbread with Apple Topping

D: “This is a strange mix.  It’s good and not to sweet but without the apple I don’t like the cornbread as much.”

MOBD:  “Hm!  Those go well together!  I wouldn’t have thought that.  I’m taking another bite.”

Chocolate Filled Brownie

D: A lot of nodding happened with this one.  Then, “It’s really dry … it’s a good taste but not as rich as a brownie I’m sed too.  It feels like something is off.”

MOBD: There was a strong happy reaction with the brownie accompanied by the statement, “This tastes like a real brownie!”

Spelt Carrot Cupcake and Vanilla Cupcake

D: “The icing is different from what I’m used to.  I like it, it’s not too sweet.  Wait there’s no sugar?  Wow.  How do they do that?  I mean how do they even know how to do that?” Once we got to the Vanilla Cupcake, Daryl’s sweet tolerance had been breached  and he started coming up with statements like,“This tastes sort of like a donkey’s pancreas.  Like a sledgehammer’s girlfriend.” So we had to put him to bed.

MOBD: “I’m not much of  cupcake eater.  What did I just eat?  The icing is good – the cake is a bit dry but the Carrot Cake has a good cinnamon flavor.  I like these because they’re not overwhelmingly sweet.”

I also brought over a Brownie Cupcake (which I died for) and forgot to take a picture.  The verdict was:

D: “The icing is too sweet the cake is really good!”

MOBD:  “I guess I just don’t like chocolate chips in stuff.”

The overall winner was the donut with the cornbread making a particular mark on My Other Brother Daryl.  I LOVED the donut.  It was really hard not to eat the whole thing before I gave some to the guys.  It blows my mind that it’s gluten-free.  On the next trip, I’m going to try theeeese:

Go do your own review with your own dudes:

Babycakes NYC
130 East 6th Street (between S. Main Street and S. Los Angeles Street)
Telephone: 213.623.5555

*If you catch that reference I will send you a prize.

Holiday Gifts Galore

Hey folks.  I been busy.  Busy making these lovely little jars of happy.  And baking.  Right now my house smells like a gigantic carrot bundt cake.  I wish my house WAS a gigantic carrot bundt cake.  Breakfast in bed?  No.  Breakfast IS bed.  Perfect.

So I think this is a really great Christmas/Hanukkah/YaKnow/TheOneWithThePole gift!  Go out and get yourself some mason jars and fill them up with dry goods for your favorite cookie recipe.  Include the recipe with the gift so your gift receivers know what the heck to do with the stuff.  Put some pretty do-dads all over the jar.  SMILE!  Give it to someone!  This is so much fun!  We all really like each other!  Look at all that smiling!

Now ain’t that just a thing of beauty?

Happy Holidays!!!

Tofu Florentine for a Lazy (L)ass

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Now that the weather has been hinting at the arrival of fall(is it here yet?!), I’ve been in ‘hearty breakfast’ mode.  Let me introduce you to my favorite dish to devour before an AM hike.  This guy is an Easy Tofu Florentine that any crusty eyed morning monster can put together without the aid of 5 cups of coffee.  Believe you me, there have been many early morning breakfast mishaps in my life …  but this recipe will never steer me wrong.

Recipe

Ingredients

1-2 T Olive Oil

1 Ezekial Whole Wheat English Muffin

1 C Frozen Spinach

2 slices Extra Firm Tofu

FYH Vegan Caesar Dressing

Nutritional Yeast to sprinkle on top

Directions

  • Get your giant cast iron skillet ready by heating olive oil on a medium flame
  • Cut English muffin in half and place face down on the skillet
  • Place the tofu slices next to the English muffin slices
  • Flip both the tofu and English muffin when they are browned on the first side
  • While the second sides are browning, add frozen spinach to the skillet and sautee until defrosted
  • Turn off your stove and begin to assemble!  Place the English muffin slices face up, scoop half the spinach onto each face, and top with the tofu slices.
  • Spoon the FYH Vegan Caesar on top of the whole magilla and sprinkle as much nutritional yeast on top.  Salt/pepper to taste.

I love this recipe because it keeps me full forever and it makes me feel like I’m having a really indulgent brunch without any effort.  I put the nooch on top for added B vitamins (gotta have ‘em) and a little bit of a cheesy taste.  And because I’m a glutton for the stuff.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

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