Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

It’s been too long, friends. I’m back with another cinnamon roll recipe perfect for the holiday baking season. This pastry was born when I had too much filling leftover after I baked an apple pie. Am I the only one who always has leftover filling? Anywaythey turned out beautifully with the tartness of the apples adding some nice complexity to the usual simple sweetness of cinnamon rolls. Bring these to an office potluck or serve them for breakfast on Christmas morning and be everybody’s new best friend.

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Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup warm non-dairy milk (I used soy)

1/4 cup melted earth balance, other non-hydrogenated margarine, or canola oil

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp.canola oil

3 tbs. water

4 1/2 – 5 C. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the filling:

2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into rough 1/2 inch chunks

1/3 cup earth balance, softened

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch cloves

To prepare the dough: 

Dissolve the yeast and sugar into the milk. Let stand until foamy. Meanwhile, whisk together the baking powder, water and canola oil. Add the baking powder mixture and melted margarine to the yeast mixture and stir. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and spices. Gradually add the the wet ingredients until a non-sticky dough forms. Knead dough on a floured surface for about ten minutes until it’s stretchy and smooth. (You can also use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.) Form dough into a ball, place in an oiled glass bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

Prepare the filling: Toss apple chunks with the canola oil and maple syrup. Cream brown sugar, earth balance, and spices together in a small bowl until well combined. Add the apple mixture to the brown sugar mixture and toss to coat apples.  Preheat your oven to 400 F and lightly grease a heavy cookie sheet.

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pre-rolling

Punch down the prepared dough onto a floured surface and roll into a 15 x 9 inch rectangle. Drop the filling into the center of the rectangle. Use the back of a spoon to spread the filling evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving 1 inch “margins” around the perimeter.

Roll dough into a cylinder lengthwise and slice into 12 pieces. Place evenly on the prepared cookie sheet and let rise for an additional 15 – 20 minutes. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to bake, or progress immediately to the baking step if you want them right away!

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom. Drizzle your favorite icing over the rolls while they’re still warm, if you like, but I prefer them in their naked state. These are best served immediately, but keep well for a couple of days stored in an airtight container.

Cold Oatmeal and Food Ruts

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I’m sitting here in my bathrobe, eating lukewarm oatmeal for dinner because it’s 10pm and the cupboards are mostly empty and the idea of cooking, and having to wash more dishes, makes me want to run screaming from my home and adopt a primitive, nomadic, dish-less lifestyle worthy of a TLC reality show. I haven’t had a chance to get to the grocery store this week and over the past too distracted by other responsibilities–taking care of the baby, running a business–to plan meals in advance like I usually do.

In situations like this one, I end up in a food rut, falling back on the same three or four unexciting dishes until either my husband or I start complaining enough to motivate me to get to the store. This week, we’ve mostly been eating peanut butter toast, some combination of lentils and rice, and a mediocre vegetable soup made from last week’s leftover produce haul.

I guess the point of this post is that I’m shaping up to be a sad, uninspiring food blogger. What are your token “in a food rut” meals? What do you do to break out of your ruts? 

Also, this oatmeal isn’t half bad: brown sugar, cinnamon, peanut butter, chocolate chips. Give it a try next time you find yourself standing in your kitchen in your bathrobe, with low blood sugar, staring at a nearly empty fridge. 

VeganMoFo and Paula Deen

Hello, veggie loving friends!

Tomorrow kicks off Vegan Month of Food–a project that involves hundreds of bloggers writing about vegan food every day throughout the month of October. Typically, VeganMoFo bloggers choose a theme, like a certain ingredient or type of dish, to guide their posts. Since this is my first year MoFo’ing, I’ve decided to have both NO THEME and ALL THE THEMES, simultaneously. 

You can expect. . . 

  • At least one original recipe each week
  • A vegan dining guide for my remarkably vegan unfriendly local area
  • An NYC vegan dining guide or round-up from my trip later in October
  • A restaurant review or two
  • A cookbook review or two
  • Generalized advice for new vegans/vegetarians
  • Haikus about sprouts, if I run out of further inspiration

and the project I’m most looking forward to. . . 

“Veganizing” at least one Paula Deen recipe each week. For my Paula Deen Goes Vegan project, I’ll choose one recipe from the queen of butter’s website or television show and attempt to replicate it using only plant based ingredients. To make things more challenging, I’ve decided the recipe must include at least two varieties of animal products. I’m hoping this project will 1) help folks realize that vegan food and comfort food are not mutually exclusive and 2) help me further my ambition of growing up to be a (a less diabetic), vegan Paula Deen. 

I’ll also be posting recipes for a lot of lighter, healthier fare this month, if you’re on a low-Paula diet, as most human beings should be. 

There are some great bloggers participating in this year’s Vegan Month of Food. Make sure to check out the blog roll! I’m looking forward to the next thirty days of sharing the veggie love!