Hot Cocoa

After taking a long break from things for the holiday I’m finding it difficult to get my momentum back. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s feeling this way right now. I cooked several large meals over the holidays and I’m feeling a bit burnt out from cooking and eating in excess. Luckily I still have plenty of leftovers from the weekend, and won’t have to make anything new. I still wanted to share a recipe with my readers this week just in case you happen to be feeling ambitious enough to make something. This one is a quick and easy one that will warm up your winter just a bit while feeling reminiscent of the holidays. Hot cocoa is incredibly easy to make at home. When I still ate dairy it was as simple as buying a pre-mixed packet. Unfortunately for us vegans most of the ready made cocoa mixes contain milk powder. On the bright side you only need four ingredients to replicate the store bought cocoa mixes, and it tastes way better.

Over the past few years I’ve become more conscious about buying fair trade products. I try not to get too “preachy” on the blog, because some perceive it as unwelcoming. I really don’t want to scare anyone away from veganism, but this is an issue that really bothers me. I feel that as a vegan who went vegan predominantly for animal rights issues I cannot knowingly purchase something that was produced in a way that is exploitative to other human beings. Human beings are animals just like cows, pigs, or chickens. Being vegan implies that you care about the rights of all animals. We all have value, and are deserving of equal rights. If you don’t already shop fair trade I ask you to consider making the switch. Nobody deserves to be enslaved just so you can have a few minutes of enjoyment, and save a few dollars. Yes, I understand that it’s a bit more expensive, but if you can’t afford something that wasn’t produced by slave labor maybe take a minute to reflect on whether or not you really need to purchase that item. I’m not saying that you need to strive for perfection, but in the spirit of “Veganuary” try your best to swap out some of your daily items like coffee and cocoa. I think you’ll find as you make these changes that the fair trade products almost always taste better, and are worth the marginally higher price.

Perhaps in the future I’ll do a post featuring some of my favorite fair trade products. For this recipe I like using SACO Conscious Kitchen Cocoa, or Equal Exchange Organic Baking Cocoa. If you get the Equal Exchange Cocoa make sure you buy the baking cocoa as the drinking cocoa contains milk. I use Wholesome organic vegan white sugar for this recipe. For vanilla extract we use Simply Organic. Top it with vegan whipped cream, and vegan marshmallows. We use Dandies Marshmallows, because they’re delicious and relatively easy to find. Oatly oatmilk is our go to non-dairy milk, but feel free to use whatever you prefer!


Hot Cocoa

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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To make more than one serving just multiply the ingredients by how many servings you intend to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 cups non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vegan sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • vegan marshmallows (optional)
  • -vegan whipped cream (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small sauce pan start warming non-dairy milk on a low heat.
  2. Add in sugar, and sift in the cocoa. Be sure to whisk as you add the cocoa to help keep it from clumping.
  3. Add vanilla extract, and whisk. Continue whisking the mixture periodically to prevent it from burning.
  4. Bring mixture to a simmer, and let it go until it is hot.
  5. Pour into a mug, and top with non-dairy whipped cream and marshmallows or leave it plain. You can dust with additional cocoa for a garnish.

Cinnamon Rolls

I’m still enjoying a nice little break for the holidays to rest, reset, and reflect on the way I want to run my business. It’s been an incredibly stressful year for me, and just about everyone else. In the new year you can look forward to new menu items from my bakery, and shipping throughout the United States. I’ll also be working on creating a lifestyle section of the blog where you can read about some of Nick and I’s favorite ethical, vegan restaurants and products like skin care, makeup, clothing, and more. Creating new recipes for the blog is a great deal of fun, but it’s also a lot of extra work for me throughout the week when I have a lot to do with the bakery. This way I can continue to provide quality content to help readers learn more about veganism, sustainability, and leading an ethical lifestyle without the added stress of having to cook and bake every minute of my waking life. That being said, I’m having a lovely holiday vacation and excited for New Years, even though I’m a bit bummed out that Christmas is already over. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I enjoy finding the perfect gifts for friends and family, and spending time with people I don’t normally see often. This year was a bit different with the pandemic, but it was still fun nonetheless. Nick and I woke up on Christmas morning and enjoyed one of my all time favorite Christmas traditions, next to opening the presents, which is homemade cinnamon rolls.

For this recipe I’ve adapted my Grandma Billie’s recipe for Sticky Buns, and made it into the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. We also crafted a delicious cream cheese frosting to put on top of the rolls right when they come out of the oven. These cinnamon rolls are warm, ooey-gooey, and reminiscent of every delightful childhood Christmas. They’re also incredibly easy to make, and only require a few ingredients. I put them together the day before Christmas, and leave them in the fridge until Christmas morning. I have no interest in making a dough for cinnamon rolls, and waiting for it to proof on Christmas morning, no matter how easy the recipe is.


Cinnamon

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: easy
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Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp vegan white sugar
  • 2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegan butter, we used earth balance
  • 2/3 cups vegan brown sugar

Cinnamon Roll Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, we used tofutti
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Cinnamon Roll Dough Directions

  1. Heat a sauce pan on medium heat for about a minute. You can tell if it’s ready by flicking water at it. If it sizzles and quickly evaporates you’re good to go. Add the oat milk in. It should make a hiss as it goes into the pan. Keep it on medium heat and stir until it begins to simmer whisking occasionally. Don’t stir the liquid continuously as you want it to scald a little bit for this recipe.
  2. Very carefully add in the oil. The oat milk has probably reached a pretty high temperature here, so it may jump and splash back a little.
  3. Whisk in the sugar and salt and allow to simmer for another minute.
  4. Turn off burner and remove the liquid from heat. Allow to cool until it is about room temperature.
  5. While the milk mixture cools combine the egg replacer with 1/4 cup of water in a separate bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl combine yeast with one cup hot water. The water should be hot, but not so hot you can’t touch it.
  7. Add the egg replacer, the milk mixture, and three cups of flower and beat by hand or with a hand mixer.
  8. Add in the rest of the flour. If you chose to use a hand mixer you’ll want to ditch it at this point, because the dough is about to get too heavy for it. Mix the flour in with your hands or a spoon until a soft, somewhat sticky dough has formed.
  9. Knead for a few minutes on a floured surface. Grease mixing bowl, and return the dough ball to the bowl. Cover with a towel and set aside for an hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  10. Once the dough has doubled break it into two portions so it is easier to work with. Roll out each portion separately into a roughly 14″x8″ rectangle.
  11. In a bowl soften one cup of margarine to room temperature, and cream in the vegan brown sugar.
  12. Cream together the room temperature vegan butter, and brown sugar. Spread thoroughly on top of each rectangle.
  13. Dust each dough rectangle with cinnamon atop the butter layer.
  14. Grease two Pyrex baking dishes (sized approximately 15″x8″) with excess butter and brown sugar mixture. Make sure the mixture reaches all the way up the sides, as well as completely coating the bottom.
  15. Roll each rectangle up longways like a pumpkin roll or jelly roll, and cut into 16 pieces
  16. Place your pieces in the buttered pans leaving about 1/2″ of space in between each one.
  17. Allow to proof for an additional half hour at room temperature. At this point you can bake them immediately or refrigerate them for up to 24 hours.
  18. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  19. Bake for 25 minutes, and then ice all the cinnamon rolls while they are still hot. Enjoy warm, or allow them to cool.

Cinnamon Roll Frosting Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat room temperature vegan butter on a low setting with a hand mixer, or stand mixer. Whip it for about two minutes until it develops nice peaks, and becomes a smooth and creamy texture.
  2. Add in the cream cheese, and mix for just long enough to integrate with the butter.
  3. Slowly sift in the powdered sugar, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Add in salt, and vanilla extract. Mix.
  5. Frosting should be a relatively thick consistency, but not thick enough to easily pipe to decorate a cake. If it seems a bit too runny, add more powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.
  6. Store frosting in an air tight container in the fridge until ready for use.