Test: How to Lose Your Diet in 10 Minutes
Question #1: Which two don’t belong? Summer. Shorts. Tank tops. Bikinis. Sandals. Tans (unless you’re me). Fruit. Beaches. Vacations. Finally using that gym membership. Cinnamon buns. Dulce de leche.
If you answered Cinnamon buns and Dulce de leche, you are right.
If your name is Karissa and you are turning 23 on the 23rd of this month, you are very wrong.
Let me start by saying something really fast. I did attempt to make this more warm-weather-appropriate / not-as-guilty-feeling by making a lemon zest icing glaze for the top. It worked, but I’d be lying if I said these needed it. If my boyfriend knew I did that, he’d ban me from dulce de leche for life…even though I’m the one who made the dulce de leche…not the most fun one can have in the kitchen, but whateva.
There are quite a few things I like about these. First of all, there’s no eggs. I haven’t baked with eggs in…a while. It’s actually addicting and not only do I save money but I find that I prefer the taste of baked goods without eggs. Who knew? There’s also no butter (I used Earth Balance).
AND maybe best of all, no yeast. I have yeast, but I don’t have patience (a very important virtue I unfortunately lack the majority of the time I am awake) so I winged it with the recipe for vegan scones that I used just a couple of posts ago.
I never intended on using a recipe twice on this blog, but I think this can be an exception for now because they are delicious and much different than the scones. Obviously these aren’t vegan like the scones were, but I thought the dough would work for this and it totally did. My boyfriend came into the kitchen and for a quick second had to ask himself when we bought Pillsbury cinnamon rolls… and then realized I made them myself.
I think he was surprised because I had just gone into the kitchen 15 minutes earlier. Karissa the Cinnamon Bun Magician. It has a ring to it….ok, no it doesn’t. The texture is just the way I like my cinnamon buns; they have a slight crunch on the edges of the outside and they’re soft, sweet and gooey on the inside.
I got very lucky because I actually used half of the amount of milk called for in the original vegan scone recipe. Whoops..? I didn’t even know until I just read it now. Yay for getting it right while getting it wrong!
The dulce de leche is actually very easy to make, it just takes some time and…*cough* patience. My boyfriend has made it on the stove top before, but I followed the instructions from David Lebovitz and it works like a charm. However, I leave mine in for a couple of hours instead of one to get it dark enough (except yesterday I had the oven on 25 degrees lower than I should have and it felt like eternity before it was to my boyfriend’s liking).
It’s really not too much of a hassle making it though. I pour my condensed milk into a ramekin that I use for french onion soup and mix in about 1/8 teaspoon of salt, tent it with aluminum foil, place that in a casserole dish that is filled about halfway with hot water, and put it in a 425 degree oven (note to self for next time!)
Every 30 minutes or so I remove it, stir it up, and if the casserole dish needs more water then I’ll add some more. For the last 15 minutes, I even took the foil off of the top so it could brown a little faster.
I really was inspired to make this in order to to prevent my boyfriend from eating the entire thing of dulce de leche from a spoon. Although now that I think about it, I am always craving cinnamon buns….
Mini Dulce De Leche Cinnamon Buns (No eggs, no butter, no yeast)
Makes 12 mini cinnamon buns
For the Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Earth Balance margarine
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk (you can use soy)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling
Dulce de leche (enough to spread a layer and to glaze the tops with)
2-3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and light brown sugar together.
3. Using a pastry blender, or your hands, cut the cold Earth Balance into the dry mixture until it’s pretty evenly mixed throughout the dough (like making a pie dough). The butter will be spread throughout like pea sized chunks.
4. Mix in the almond milk and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined, and gather all of the dough into a ball. Split the dough in half (I do this is two batches so it’s easier to roll out).
5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough one way into a long rectangle. I roll mine out to about 12 inches.
6. Spread a layer of dulce de leche onto the rolled out dough and then sprinkle about 1 1-2 tablespoons of the dark brown sugar on top of the dulce de leche (I use my hands to spread it out evenly). Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon evenly on top of this.
7. Start tightly rolling the dough until it becomes a small log and then use your hands to gently stretch it a little longer, until it’s about 8 inches long. I pinch all along the roll until it becomes thinner and taller and then pat it down and carefully pull it to stretch at the same time. If you just pull it could rip, so be delicate with it.
8. Once it’s in a nice long cylinder, use a knife to cut it in half and then each half into thirds. This will give you 6 miniature cinnamon buns with this half and then 6 more with the other half of the dough. Place them down flat with the inside facing up and gently press them down a little bit. It will look like this:
9. Do the same thing to the rest of the dough, and then using your fingertips (or a pastry brush but it’s more fun using your hands) lightly coat the edges with a mixture of almond milk and some powered sugar just to glaze the edges so they don’t dry out and they get a nice crunch on the outside.
10. Place them all in the greased 9 inch round cake pan and coat the tops with a layer of dulce de leche. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until top is bubbly and the buns are lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Optional: Lemon zest icing:
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 1/2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Drizzle of almond milk, just enough to get the desired consistency
Vanilla extract to taste (couple drops)