Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Easy, Fast, Vegan Cinnamon Rolls, My Dad's Favorite!





    Growing up I shared a lot of things with my Dad.  I was a weird little Tom-boy so we fished, hiked, shot a bee bee gun at overgrown vegetables in the garden, played sports, and ATE.  So, as I have said before, my mom is a health nut of the best variety.  But when she was not around my Dad and I would gorge ourselves on anything and everything cinnamon, our favorites were red hot candy (that had more Red Dye in two pieces than I was allowed to eat in a year) and of course cinnamon rolls.  Cinnabon has always been our favorite but any every cinnamon roll would be devoured if in our path.

So this year for my Dad's birthday I decided to figure out a recipe that was vegan, delicious, was easily portable (because my Dad travels a lot for his job), and most importantly tasted like the cinnamon rolls we ate in days past.  I had a stroke a genius and realized that I could take  ALOT of help from the store on this one and still make VEGAN "homemade" rolls.

Very simple ingredients:
  • Canned Pizza Dough  -  Think about it, the best cinnamon rolls come from yeast dough, but that takes FOREVER to make, and who has the time.  Well pillsbury and almost every store brand of refrigerated pizza dough, is just that....vegan, yeast dough, in a can, pre made!
  • Vegan Cream Cheese Icing  - Also vegan straight from the store.  I don't want to know exactly what it is made of, but not cream cheese and for a vegan that is what is important.

  • Cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract (Fake is fine if you want to save some money)
  • Agave Nector
  • Vegan butter
The Goo:   
   First melt one stick of vegan butter with 1 cup brown sugar.  Just melt it slightly you want this to be a paste not a liquid.  I would recommend 17 seconds at first (I also have slight OCD so I microwave all things ending with a 7, but 15 or 20 seconds will work, if you aren't a crazy person).  Add in 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract if it is the real deal, if you are using the faux go for 1 and a half or even 2.  Add 2 tablespoons of agave nector (this is to simulate a honey bun).  Last part of this stir in the cinnamon.  Now I like things really cinnamony so I add 2 tablespoons but if you want a little less bite try 1 and a half.  

The Roll:
     Just take the dough out of the can and stretch it out so that it is an even thickness and shape.  Should look like a rectangle.  Now smear your goo evenly over the entire triangle. Pick a side and roll it up!  Now you have something that resembles a log or a holiday pumpkin roll.  Now it is time to slice.  Slice the roll into even 1 inch sections.  Use a serrated knife for the best results.

Bake it:
    As I mentioned these were first made for my Dad and I wanted to make them easy to transport, so instead of baking them the traditional way in a round 9 inch aluminum baking pan, I opted for the cupcake tin.  Place your parchment cups in the tin and then place one slice in each section.
  Now they might not fit in perfectly depending on how tightly you make the roll but that is fine, they don't have to be perfect.

After you have your tin loaded up, place it in a preheated 375 degree oven.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.  You don't want to over cook them or they won't be gooey.

After you take them out of the oven you want to place one tablespoon of the cream cheese icing on each roll.  I also usually add a little vanilla to my icing but you don't have to.  Use a knife to spread the icing around but it will naturally melt down the roll.

That's it.  Now let them cool slightly and enjoy, or take them to your Dad or friends!

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