Things have been nutty here at the DHBG, so we haven’t had a chance to write many new holiday recipes. Instead, we’ve gone out and found some *excellent* ones from other cooks and want to share them with you. As you make plans for festive dinners, family gatherings and potlucks, be sure to try these!
Pumpkin Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
There is no better start to a wonderful brunch or breakfast than fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls with drippy, gooey icing. Eurkea. This recipe from famed vegan Chef Chloe does not disappoint. And you can watch her make the recipe on video. If you aren’t an experienced baker, you should definitely take the time to view the perky video of Chloe making these rolls. It’s not a difficult recipe, but paying attention to the various steps and timing is crucial, as these yeasted rolls need two rises. Also, the process of adding the filling and slicing them was quite messy. We ended up spooning filling off the rolling station and squishing it into the rolls before their second rise. All that said, these Pumpkin Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing are sssoooo good. When they’re in the oven, your house will smell like heaven. And when you bite into the first one, you will be in heaven. Oh – did we mention that if you make these from brunch, everyone will love you forever? Check out the recipe on Chef Chloe’s site and her instructional video.
Macadamia Nut Brie with Maple Cranberry Sauce and Savory Oven Crackers
Speaking of nutty… you will go nuts for this vegan brie recipe. We certainly have. Vedged Out is a new blog by long-time DHBG reader, Somer. And though Somer’s blog is new, she is far from new to the vegan cyber-scene. Or to the vegan deliciousness. We have made this incredible vegan brie two times and we’ve baked 8 batches of the crackers. Gosh, I wish I had some right now…
We took the first brie to the VRG‘s annual Thanksgiving potluck last month. It was so popular with that crowd, we almost didn’t get to sample it! Luckily, till we got thru the chow line, we got to share a literal sliver. But it was enough to want to make it again. And again. At first we thought the recipe was a little daunting, as it printed out at 12 pages. I was relieved to discover that was because Somer included many how-to photos, not because it was 12 pages of text! It’s pretty easy, actually – you just need to follow the directions and pay attention. A few notes – The recipe list calls for Pomona’s Pectin. Let me save you some time: we went to 3 grocery stores looking for this magical stuff and found nothing. Just get onto Amazon.com and buy a few boxes. I gurantee that you *will* make this recipe over and over, so you may as well stock up. Somer suggests soaking the nuts for 4 to 8 hours; we soaked ours 12 hours to make sure they were smooth and creamy. We also substituted unsweetened almond butter for the tahini, cuz I’m allergic to sesame. We also subbed the sesame seeds in the cracker recipes and used poppy seeds. They look adorable and give the crackers texture. Oh, and the cranberries with maple syrup and thyme – we’ve made that all by itself four times now. I added a little splash of fresh squeezed orange juice and a sprinkle of orange zest. Insanely good.
Somer is fancier than us – she suggests cutting shapes from the puff pastry to decorate the brie. It does look lovely, we agree. But if you just wrap it and bake, this little treat will still be the nicest gift you wrap all year. Check out the recipe here. You may as well print it out, you’re going to want this one in your permanent collection.
Update: Somer has been kind enough to allow us to post the Brie recipe… Thanks Somer!!
Macadamia Nut Brie
1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked 4-8 hours in cold water, then drained and rinsed. (You can use 1/2 macadamias and 1/2 cashews, too
1 cup boiling water
2 Tbls. tapioca flour (optional, makes for a firmer brie)
1 Tbl. pure maple syrup
1 Tbl. yellow miso
2 Tbls. tahini (we used almond butter)
1 Tbl. rice vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbls. Earth Balance
1/2 package Pamona’s Pectin (only this brand of pectin will work in this recipe)
Lightly oil a small round dish (I used a glass tupperware), set aside. Measure out half of the dry pectin, about 4.5 teaspoons. Combine calcium packet from pectin box with 1/2 cup water (not listed in ingredients above) in a small lidded jar and shake til thoroughly combined. Blend all ingredients except pectin and calcium water in your turbo blender or food processor until completely smooth. Add dry pectin and half (1/4 cup) of the calcium water and pulse until all combined and thick. Immediately scrape hot brie out into the small round prepared dish. Refrigerate for a couple hours, turn out on to a plate, brie will be slightly soft (as brie is) but ready to use in this recipe.
Maple Cranberry Sauce
1 package fresh cranberries (I used Ocean Spray)
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
2/3 cup apple cider
1/4 tsp. crushed thyme
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, pour into glass jar. Let cool and refrigerate until ready for use (this will keep up to a month in the fridge and longer in the freezer and leftovers can easily be saved for the holidays).
Savory Oven Crackers
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup black sesame seeds (we used poppy seeds)
2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
6-8 Tbls. cold water
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. veggie salt or sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Process all ingredients but water til combined in your food processor. Add half the water, then add a water a tablespoon at a time (you may not need it all) while pulsing until a round ball of dough forms. Put dough on a sheet of parchment paper and roll out until PAPER thin (or as thin as you can possibly roll them out). Brush surface with water and sprinkle with a bit more sea salt or veggie salt. Cut into squares with a pizza wheel. Bake for on a baking tray for 8-10 minutes, then remove crackers from parchment paper and bake an additional few minutes on the tray until golden.
Assemble the Brie en Croute: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out puff pastry a bit. (You can reuse the parchment paper you cooked the crackers on for this task.) Spoon 1/2 cup Maple Cranberry Sauce into the center.
Top with Macadamia Nut Brie (smooth side touching the cranberry sauce). Leaving a few inches all around, cut puff pastry into a round following the brie as a guide. Tuck edges up in a pinwheel fashion.
Turn right side up and decorate with remaining scraps if desired. Brush pastry with 1 T. water and 1 T. pure maple syrup to make it extra glossy.
Bake for 20 minutes until pastry is golden. I broiled mine for 3 minutes to get the pastry to a deeper golden color and it ended up being 2 minutes too long.
Herbed Collard Greens
This gem was discovered on a VegNews weekly newsletter and if you ever doubted that greens can be decadent and elegant, well – try this recipe. We used chard instead of collards because we have chard growing the yard. Chard worked well, as I’m sure any greens would, like kale or beet greens. The magic here is in the sauce…rich with coconut oil, coconut milk, almond meal and almond milk… mixed in with some cloves, sage and other fresh herbs. Oh my. Let’s be clear – we served this to several family members who think chard is a four-letter word. Not only did they taste it, but everyone went back for seconds. There were no leftovers of the Herbed Cream Collards. The recipe is simple to follow, is gluten-free and even freezes if you want to make it in advance. Thanks, VegNews, for sharing Allyson Kramer’s tasty dish ! Your family members will be arm-wrestling for the last bite of this one.
Butternut Squash Casserole with Curry
Prepare yourself. This recipe is by Paula Deen. Yes, you read that correctly. Paula Deen, of Food Network fame. We had the television on, and the DH noticed her making this. He called me over and declared that is would be a snap to make vegan, and we downloaded it. It was easy to veganize, by the way. Only one ingredient, eggs, needed a swap. The casserole makes a large quantity (ideal for large groups) and has a savory, unexpected flavor. The curry, coconut milk and squash combine beautifully. We used 2 vidalia onions instead of one, and doubled the amount of curry. For the eggs, we used Ener-G Egg Replacer. Ground flax “eggs” or applesauce would also be good substitutes here. Oh, we didn’t have any raisins, so we used dried cranberries instead. We didn’t do this, but if you toasted the coconut on top, that would be delicious. Thanks Paula Deen, for making a tasty Butternut Squash Casserole with exotic flavors of coconut and curry!
There’s still time to plan your family meals, so be sure to check out these wonderful recipes. Make them for friends and family and enjoy delicious holidays!