As sorely tempted as I was to bake my heart out in the form of holiday cookies, time simply slipped away while I wasn’t looking, leaving me to watch on in green-eyed envy as everyone else I knew pulled tray after tray of golden dough from their ovens. Besides the time commitment involved, I couldn’t for the life of me narrow down the winding list of possible treats to include in a platter. Sugar cookies, thumb prints, biscotti, shortbread, gingersnaps – Seriously people, how do you make a decision here? Still, there were sweet gifts to be made for friends and family, and so a day before the appointed exchange, it seemed inevitable that an untraditional approach would be in the cards. I could only hope that the recipients would still appreciate my offering of…
Cinnamon buns. Just think about that for a moment: Soft and warm from the oven, cinnamon and sugar rolled into every fold of tender dough, drizzled with an ample amount of maple icing. What’s not to love? A delicious indulgence appropriate for the season, I could think of nothing more comforting than a pan of these delectable buns, fully baked and ready to be devoured after just a hot minute of micro-love.
I must admit though, a certain blog post that happened to pass through my radar was quite an inspiration for this gift, so I can hardly take credit for it. Easily veganized, slapped together with such ease that the most difficult step is waiting for the dough to rise, it was one lucky find. In no time at all, I had seven decorative pans filled with plump rolls… And I have to say, there weren’t too many protests to be heard when those cinnamon buns were distributed into the hands of loved ones. Truly, the gift that keeps on giving is one that is both a treat for the baker and the partaker!
So in case you’d like to start a new tradition for next year, here’s the recipe with all of my changes and substitutions included. I must warn you however- This makes a lot of cinnamon buns, so unless you have a good amount of people on your “nice” list or a house full of hungry guests, you might just end up eating an unreasonable number of those addictive rolls yourself.
[Inspired by The Pioneer Woman Cooks]
1 Quart Soymilk
1 Cup Canola Oil
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Packets Active Dry Yeast
9 Cups All Purpose Flour, Divided
1 Heaping Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Scant Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Cup Margarine, Divided
2 Cups Granulated Sugar, Divided
Loads of Cinnamon
1 2-Pound Bag Confectioner’s Sugar
2 Teaspoons Maple Extract
3/4 Cup Soymilk
1/4 Cup Margarine, Melted
First off, combine the soymilk, oil, and 1 cup of sugar together in a large pot and place it over medium heat on the stove. Bring it just to a boil while stirring, and then immediately take it off the heat. Let it sit for about 45-60 minutes to cool to below 115 degrees, as anything hotter will kill the yeast.
Once luke warm, add in the yeast and let it get acquainted with the mixture for about 5 minutes. Then, dump in 8 cups of the flou, stir well so that it’s fully incorporated, and cover the whole pot. Let it sit for another hour to rise.
After that hour has passed, (really, there’s a lot of waiting but not much work, you’ll see!) stir in the last cup of flour, along with baking soda and powder, and salt. Now you’re finally ready to get rolling!
On a well floured surface, take out half of the dough and use a rolling pin to coerce it into a very long, rectangular shape. Don’t worry about the exact measurements, but make sure it’s about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick and longer than it is wide. Now, melt down 1/2 cup of the margrine and pore it liberally all over the dough. Spread it on evenly using a spatula, and then top it with 1 cup of the sugar. Next, just go crazy with the cinnamon shaker; I didn’t measure, but just coat the whole slab evenly and generously, and there should be no problems (I went through about 1/2 of my cinnamon shaker, by the way.) Finally, roll the whole thing up into one sugary, spicy snake and cut it into buns about 1 inch wide. Place the buns into lightly greased (I used 8-inch round, but anything goes) pans- It should make about 7 pans in all.
Repeat with the remaining half of dough.
The buns will need to sit for another 30 minutes, but in the meantime, you can start preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Once plump and risen, you can slide those rolls into the oven for a brief 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown and smelling incredible.
While they’re baking away, you can go ahead and make the glaze. Simply combine all the ingredients for it and stir well. Once those buns come out of the oven either drench or drizzle them while still hot, depending on how much holiday cheer you’d like to bestow. Enjoy, but make sure that you share the holiday spirit around!
Makes 7 Pans of Cinnamon Buns; Approximately 7 – 8 Buns Per Pan