Baked Soft Pretzels

These have become a staple around my house, my dad eats them like they’re going out of style. I keep asking what he’s going to do when I move out next month, he doesn’t like to talk about that. They’re really easy to make, most of the time is just spent waiting for the dough to rise. They’re good with some mustard, or just by themselves. But they’re best if you eat them in 2-3 days, which won’t be hard.

It’s not the best of pictures, but you get the idea.

Recipe
2-3 cups of flour (add until the dough isn’t too sticky, not too much though)
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegan butter
coarse salt for sprinkling on pretzels

1. Proof your yeast and add the sugar in the lukewarm water, let it sit for 5 minutes.
2. Combine the flour and salt, then add the yeast mixture. Stir to combine as much as you can, and then dump out the dough and start kneading.
3. Knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Then place it in an oiled bowl and place a towel over the top. Let it sit for about an hour.
4. Come back and punch down the dough, just pow, fist meets dough.
5. Divide the dough into 7-8 equal pieces. Roll them into fairly thick, chunky logs about 3 inches long.
6. Place them on a pan and cover with a towel. Let them sit for 20 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
8. The dough should be easier to work with now, roll them out to about double in size. Then cover and let sit again for 15 minutes.
9. Now roll the dough into a 10-12 inch rope and shape into pretzels. Mine look more like bows, but feel free to do whatever shape your heart desires.
10. Melt the butter and use a pastry brush to spread over the tops of each pretzels, and sprinkle it with coarse salt.
11. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

I wish I had a better picture, but we eat these so fast, they’re basically gone in a day or two. Hope you like ’em.

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I love carbs.

I usually don’t eat too much fattening stuff, but in it’s place I will consume lots of carbs. I love carbs, bread, potatoes, pasta, whatever. Today at work I was sitting there thinking about what I was going to eat for dinner. I do this a lot, because my job is data entry, which isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. So I decided I wanted to make a Boca burger and fries, but I had no buns. I can’t spend anymore money until my next credit card statement…so buying buns was out. I figured they would be easy enough to make, which was kind of true. The process was kind of odd so if you want to try it out, it might vary a bit from my recipe.

Bun Recipe
1 cup soy milk
2 T canola oil
2 T sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
2-3 cups flour

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees for ten minutes and then turn off. This is to get the oven just a tad bit warm for a future step.
2. Dissolve the yeast in warm water, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Combine milk, oil, sugar and yeast. Mix well, add salt and gradually add the flour until the dough isn’t too sticky. Make sure not to add too much flour, or else your buns will be too dense.
4. Knead the dough for 5 minutes and then place in a bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise for about 20 minutes.
5. Divide into 8 equal pieces (mine only made 7, but I like big buns…) and form them into the shape you want and place about 2 inches apart.
6. Cover with a towel and place in the warm oven for about 20 minutes. I left my oven open just a bit, so it didn’t get too warm.
7. Remove the buns and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I sprayed a little oil on the top and put sesame seeds on, but that’s optional.
8. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Baked Fries

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Peel a large potato, and cut in half lengthwise. Then cut the halves in half lengthwise again (confusing huh?) It doesn’t really matter how you cut it, just as long as you get little wedges.
3. Spray with oil. I have this little thing called a Misto, which is really cool. You fill it with oil and then it sprays a little amount out. I then sprinkle them with a local spice mix. It’s basically just garlic, chili peppers, onions and parsley.
4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, remove and flip over and bake for another 15 minutes.

I was too lazy to make my own burger, Boca never fails me.

Berry Oat Bars

I really wanted something sweet, but not something that would be too fattening. I’ve been wanting to experiment with an oat bar recipe, so I started with the one on Fat Free Vegan. She made hers with blueberrys, but we had a frozen bag of mixed berries that we need to use up. They aren’t too sweet, but they cured my sweet tooth.

Recipe
2 cups berries (I use blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with juice to form a smooth mixture

3 cups oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces unsweetened applesauce
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons (3/8 cup) water
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray an 8×8 pan with oil.
2. Combine berries, sugar and juice in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, then add vanilla, and cornstarch. Stir until it thickens, then remove from heat.
3. Put 1.5 cups of oats in a blender and grind into a fine powder. Pour into a mixing bowl and add remaining oats, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Stir, then add sugar, water, apple sauce and vanilla and stir.
4. Divide the batter in half, spread one half into the pan and smooth to cover the bottom. Spoon all of the berry mix over the batter. Then cover with the rest of the batter.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, let cool and then cut into squares.

I’m trying to post more regularly, sorry for the lapse. I’ve got some recipes I want to try out anyways.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Almost every weekend I make pancakes. It’s the only time I get to sleep in, and actually have time to make breakfast! When I was younger I used to make green pancakes with sprinkles and chocolate chips. I’ve done without the food coloring and sprinkles, but one day I might bust them out again. But I definitely couldn’t do with the chocolate chips..

This recipe only makes 3 medium sized pancakes, but I’m sure it would do fine if it was doubled. I just cook for myself, so there’s no need for me to make a whole bunch. But one thing to be really careful about, don’t stir the mixture too much or else they will become tough and gross, and you won’t want to eat them. I made this mistake the first time I made this and was bummed.

1/2 cup flour
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 T canola oil
1/2 cup soymilk
Semi-sweet chocolate chips (or any vegan brand you like)

1. Heat your pan, and spray it down with some Pam or any non stick spray.
2. Mix dry ingredients and then incorporate wet until just combined.
3. Add as many chocolate chips as you would like.
4. Pour your batter! I usually use a spoon, just so I can make sure they’re even.

Yes, these pictures were taken on my bed. I’m not ashamed to admit I eat in bed…well maybe a little.

Challah Bread

I’m not Jewish, but my brother is. So he got quite mad when I pronounced this ‘Holla’ bread. My apologies. I was at Trader Joes, and saw a lovely braided Challah bread so I decided to give it a try. I’ve never braided a loaf of bread before, so I’m quite pleased with how this one turned out! I love watching the bread rise, that’s the best part.

Recipe
1/2 cup lukewarm water, 1 cup water (separated)
1 T yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg replacers
2 T canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cup flour

1. Dissolve sugar and yeast into 1/2 cup of lukewarm water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes while it activates. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the salt and flour. Pour in yeast mixture, remaining water, egg replacer, and oil. Mix until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
3. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, and then place in an oil coated bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit for about an hour in a warm place.
4. One dough has doubled in size, divide it into three equal pieces. Roll them out into three long ropes (about 12 in. in length) and braid them together. I like to tuck the ends in once I’m done braiding. Cover with a towel for half an hour.
5. Brush the top with some melted Earth Balance or oil. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

This was my first Challah Bread, but definitely not my last! The crust was hard with a nice squishy inside, that went perfect with a nice spread of butter on top. Enjoy!

Snickerdoodles

I made these cookies while testing out what I wanted to give for Christmas gifts. This year I baked all my friends and co-workers vegan food and presented it in take out boxes. Michaels had some lovely holiday ones, and also some leopard print ones, which I had to get. But anyway, my dad loved these cookies. He isn’t vegan, but he’s always up for trying the treats I make. I ended up not giving these away, not because they weren’t good, but there just wasn’t enough room in the boxes. My favorite combination of cinnamon and sugar has always been the snickerdoodle.

Recipe
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg replacer
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

For rolling cookies in
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat the margarine in an electric mixer for about 30 seconds on high speed. Then add the flour slowly, the sugar, egg replacer, baking soda, vanilla and apple cider vinegar.
3. Beat until all is combined and then cover dough and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
4. Roll dough into 1″ balls and roll in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place a few inches apart on a cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
This recipe makes about 34 cookies.

These came out soft and chewy, but a few days later they started to get a bit crispier. My dad said he actually preferred then crispy, but I’m a chewy fan myself. Happy New Year everyone!

Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread

I’ve always loved shortbread. It’s like biting into a stick of butter, but way better. When I looked at the recipe I realized that I was basically biting into a stick of butter, but sometimes you just have to. I made these for my boss, and substituted the sugar with agave nectar for half the batch. She’s borderline diabetic, so agave nectar is perfect for someone in her condition. I had my mom test two and she preferred the one with sugar, so I’ll post that recipe. But feel free to use agave nectar if you are diabetic, or if you just like it better.

I never realized how simple the recipe was for shortbread until I found one to veganize. The only thing not vegan in the recipe was the butter, which I easily replaced with some Earth Balance. I decided to add the chocolate to spice things up a bit, but you can easily leave it out if you want.

Recipe
2 cups flour
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 crushed candy canes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the flour and salt together, set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s smooth.
4. Mix the flour and butter mixture together.
5. Roll out the dough and cut out shapes, or roll into balls and flatten for round cookies.
6. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.
7. While the cookies are baking, melt the 6 oz. of chips and crush your candy canes if you haven’t already.
8. When cookies have cooled, dip one end in melted chocolate and then roll in the crushed candy canes.

Hope everyone has a lovely holiday 🙂