Today's post is all about Sookay and her favorite kind of coffay. She's been to San Fransisco a number of times and enjoys stopping by Peet's Coffee for a cup of Cafe Solano or Cafe Domingo so she can stay up all night with her vampire friends. She loves Peet's so much she used her fairy powers to work with FoodBuzz Tastemaker's Program and Peet's sent me a sample care package so I could try their brew and pair it with the appropriate food. How sweet!
Even sweeter are Sookie's Sticky Buns. Sure, it looks like a meek cinnamon roll, but the beauty is the icing is on the BOTTOM. Get it, bottom=buns? I kill me. You want to see the beautiful cinnamon swirl on top, so the icing/glaze is at the bottom of the pan waiting for your tongue. To boot, these babies are gluten free. Why? Why not? I just like to try new stuff.
I veganized a recipe from Eating Gluten Free by Shreve Stockton. The rolls were good, but in my GF adventures, I have found GF baked goods to be whole 'nuther beast. I get something that still tastes good, but baked products tend to be a denser compared to non GF counterparts. Vegan & GF can be challenging, but still worth it. TIP: MUST use xanthan or guar gum. Otherwise, anything you make will crumble to dust like a staked vampire from an episode of Buffy. But this ain't about that show, it is about some True Grub.
A rich flavor with a hint of toffee, Cafe Domingo goes best with these rolls or any breakfast sweet treat. I closed my eyes and imagined I was on the True Blood set noshing on goodies by the craft services table and discussing fashion trends with Vampire Pam. Alan Ball slaps me on the back and asks me how my novel is coming along.
Okay back to reality. Life is good with a cup of Peet's, even better when Cafe Domingo hangs out with sticky sweets. Thanks to Peet's Coffee and FoodBuzz's Tastemaker program for giving me the opportunity to try this product! If you want to try Peet's, here's a coupon.
Back to baked goods. For you veganic experimenters and folks who have recently gone vegan--no need to get bummed if you have a gaggle of cookbooks and no room in the budget to buy a vegan cookbook. I'm gonna give you some tips to veganize baked stuff so you can make it vegan. It is easy and inexpensive to make cookies, breads, cakes, and rolls without butter, lard, eggs, and milk. Pretend you're a fairy just like Sookay and use this power! I do encourage you to buy one book at a time, or check out vegan cookbooks at your local library.
Eggs: you have a few options. You can do the following to make a vegan egg in a baking recipe:
- 1 small mashed banana-(your baked goods will have banana flavor)
- 1T ground flax seed + 3T warm water. Set it aside for a few minutes and watch it turn into gelatinous goo that harms no one.
- 1/4 c. pureed silken tofu
- 1/4 c. applesauce-(I'm not wild about this one because I have found it makes my baked goods too dry)
- NRG Egg Replacer- This is a mix you can buy at the health food store or find in the natural foods aisle at your mainstream grocer. It lasts forever. It is mostly potato and tapioca starch.
- Jen's deviant experiment- If the fruit or veggie makes a slimy puree that mimics the quality of an egg, give it a try. I have had it work sometimes. Soaked instant tapioca, cornstarch and water warmed up and cooled, etc.
- Flax oil-this expensive and very nutritious oil has buttery tones and has worked for me when baking. You have to keep it refrigerated.
- Canola oil
- Earth Balance
- Solid coconut oil
- Spectrum Shortening
- DO NOT use olive oil for baking. It won't work.
You can make milk out of anything. You can also buy soy milk and a variety of other plant based milks at the store. When I bake, I make my own oat milk with 1 c. oats to 3 c water, put in a blender and strain*. Use the pulp as baby food or in another recipe. *=This ain't for drinking, this is for baking or cooking.
Avoiding wheat and soy:
Try making your own flour by running quinoa or millet in a coffee grinder, or buy the flour at the store. I find sorghum flour to be the best one for baking.
Peanuts and tree nuts are two different things. Many of my peanut and tree nut free friends swear by sunflower seeds, sunflower seed butter, and tahini. Both seed butters do produce a distinct flavor.