Whole Wheat Caramel Sticky Buns

Whole Wheat Caramel Sticky Buns | @HipVegetarian

Whole Wheat Caramel Sticky Buns

Whenever I visited my sister-in-law in Alabama, she would always serve us the best sticky buns that her mother-in-law Sharon would make from scratch and send over for us to enjoy.

Sharon is a queen when it comes to baking — especially around Christmas time. I love how all of her kids and grandchildren look forward to her creations works of art.

Then I realized that that I wanted to do something that my children look forward to, and will always ask, “My, Mom you make ‘that?’ Its’ my favorite.”

So I pulled a chapter out of Sharon’s book and decided to conquer the STICKY BUNS.

I am not successful when it comes to making bread. I don’t know what happened — I used to be when I was in seventh grade and whipped out whole wheat bread for my baking honor badge.

So I cobbled together some recipes I thought would work — my father-in-law’s whole wheat buns recipe, and two recipes out of the Better Homes and Garden’s cookbook for the “sticky” caramel and sugar concoctions.

To simplify the process, I mix the bread mixture in a bread machine and let it rise a couple of cycles before taking it out to assemble.

Whole Wheat Sticky Buns

1 cup Water
1 Egg
1/4 cup Margarine or Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
2 cups All Purpose White Flour
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 package Yeast or about 2 teaspoons

2/3 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Margarine or Butter
2 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup

1/2 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon

Dump all the ingredients from Part One into the bread machine with the flour and yeast on top. Then let it mix and rise once in the machine.

Punch down dough. Divide in half. Let rest 10 minutes.

While dough is resting. Lightly spray 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

In a small saucepan, place Part Two ingredients over medium heat until sugar, butter and syrup have melted into each other, creating a caramel mixture. Pour mixture into baking pan and sprinkle with pecans.

Mix butter, brown sugar & syrup

Caramel mixture & pecans

Going back to the dough, roll each portion out to 9″x13″.

Rolling out dough. Mine is never perfect.

Sprinkle with one-half of the sugar mixture from Part Three.

Rolling the dough after sprinkling the sugar mixture. I’ve added pecan meal to this batch.

Roll up — like a jelly roll starting from the long-seam side.

Roll up like a jelly roll.

Slice each roll into 12 pieces.

Place sections into pan, cover with a cloth, and let rise for 20-30 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes, depending on the size of the rolls. Immediately invert baked rolls from the pan.


You’re Welcome, Mr. President

Apricot-Coconut Balls

One of my favorite candy recipes during the holidays is Apricot-Coconut Balls. I picked this up out of the 2004 Better Homes & Garden Christmas Cookies magazine.

The magazine notes that White House Chef John R. Hanny developed this no-bake cookie for President and Mrs. Nixon. This was one of their favorites.

I’ve made these delicious babies for the past six years, and they are a favorite amongst my friends. I’m told that they are reminescent of the days of old.


Apricot-Coconut Balls

1 cup Dried Apricots
1 cup Flaked Coconut
3/4 cup Chopped Nuts
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
2 1/3 cups sifted Powdered Sugar

1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper; set aside. Place apricots, coconut, and nuts in a food processor; cover and process until finely ground. Transfer ground mixture to a medium bowl. Add lemon peel and juices; stir until combined. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Stir until firm.

2. Form into 1-inch balls; roll in remaining powdered sugar. Place balls on prepared cookie sheet. Allow to dry at room temperature for at least 4 hours. If desired, sprinkle balls with additional sifted powdered sugar before serving. Makes about 30.

TO STORE: Layer between waxed paper in an airtight container, cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

** I add extra lemon juice to make the full mixture moist enough to form into balls **

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

photo taken by thehipvegetarian

My mom returned from the beauty salon yesterday and started whipping up a batch of Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip cookies.  Her inspiration?  This is a gluten-free recipe.  She came across the recipe in one of the magazines she was reading, though she can’t remember the magazine’s name.

The verdict? We didn’t even miss the flour.  Honestly, they were quite good.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Turn the oven on to 350F

Stir together until blended:
1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 lg. Egg
1/2 tea. Baking Soda
1/4 tea. Salt

Stir in 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoons on to parchment paper.

Bake 12-14 minutes.

My Sunday Confession

Sometimes my experience in the kitchen is a disaster.  Friday almost ended up as one of those days.

I had invited friends over for dinner.  They were to arrive at 6:30 p.m. My menu was Spicy Fall Pumpkin Stew, Pobalano-Cucumber Salsa, Vegan Coconut Cake.  Here’s how my afternoon turned out:

2:00 Grocery shopping (forgot Peanut Butter, a staple for 2 year olds)
3:00 Start prepping Vegan Coconut Cake
3:10 Searching for Baking Powder (Where is it?)
3:15 2yo grabs coconut milk and spills it all over him and the floor
3:20 2yo demands needing the stool to help me (not helpful)
3:20 Found the Baking Powder!
3:25 Discover the gas for the oven is turned off
3:30 Call husband for directions on turning on the oven
3:31 2yo has melt down
4:00 Place cake batter in cake pans
4:05 Glance across the kitchen and realized the baking powder was CORN STARCH!
4:06 Dump cake batter bake in bowl and mix in baking powder
4:15 Cut new parchment paper for cake pans
4:30 Place batter back in cake pans
4:30 Cake goes into oven
4:40 Baby needs fed
5:00 Cut and prep pumpkin
5:15 Realize I’m out of Cheddar Cheese for pumpkin!
5:29 Cake is finished baking
5:30 Start prepping ingredients for Pumpkin Stew
5:31 Husband arrives home but needs to send out work emails
5:32 Kids are fussy and screaming
6:00 Poblano peppers makes it into the oven for broil
6:01 Text friends to ask if they could arrive at 7:00 p.m.
6:05 Husband leaves to buy Cheddar Cheese
6:30 Stop to soothe fussy baby
6:45 Husband returns with Cheese
6:50 Pumpkin Stew assembled and placed in oven.
6:55 Guests arrive.

At this point I still need to assemble the cake and Poblano-Cucumber Salsa. Luckily it was our good friends Mike and Edlyn who were joining us for dinner, and since Mike is a professional chef he helped me whip everything into shape.

But this is where my confession is given — I planned to blog about the Vegan Coconut Cake, however with my afternoon, something just wasn’t clicking. I forgot that I had changed the icing when I made it before — instead of doing a butter cream, I had done a coconut milk glaze.  Midway through mixing the icing I remembered what I did and tried a compromise — a course correction, I call it.

Not all yummy cakes turn out looking like a beauty.

It didn’t work.

Instead I ended up with a slick icing that didn’t stick to well to the cake. On top of my distractions I had placed the cake on top of the stove, which was warm, and my icing melted.

The result was a cross between a flop and ugly — fuggly.

However this fuggly cake still tasted good, even with corn starch.

The Pumpkin Pie Alternative

Photo taken by thehipvegetarian

One of my inspirations for sharing recipes comes from a high school friend Valerie over at her 29 Days of Pumpkin blog.  Valerie has an ambitious month by committing to make a pumpkin recipe everyday until Thanksgiving.  She’s a trooper since no one else in her family likes pumpkin. Between you and me, they are missing out!

Here’s a recipe that I tried from her Day 5 Post — Gooey Butter Cake.

If you caught My Sunday Confession you would have read that I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie.  Though this recipe reminds me of pumpkin pie, it’s much better reincarnated as a cake.  I prefer to think it’s the cream cheese.  My theory is you can never go wrong with cream cheese.

In fact when I make this recipe again, I think I will place a cream cheese/sugar mixture between the cake batter and the filling.  Make it a three layered cake.  In my mind I can already taste it.

Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake

Cake Bottom:
1-18.25 oz package yellow cake mix
1 large egg
8 Tbsp butter, melted

2 cups grated raw pumpkin
1-8 ounce package of cream cheese,
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 3/4 cup box powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup powdered sugar, sprinkled on
top of each square of cake
1 dollop of fresh whipped cream per

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place raw pumpkin in bowl and cook in microwave
for 5 min. Drain out excess water. Set aside.

Make cake by mixing cake mix, egg and butter. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch baking
pan, and pat cake mixture into bottom of pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the pumpkin and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla, eggs, butter and beat. Mix dry ingredients of powdered sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and add to cream cheese mixture. Mix well.

Pour mixture over cake batter and spread evenly. Bake for 35-45 , and be careful not to overcook as the center should be soft and gooey, as the title describes. Cut into squares and sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar. Place 1-2 pieces per plate for serving,and dollop fresh whipped cream in center.

Chocolate Flan Cheesecake

Photo taken by thehipvegetarian

Well the holidays are just around the corner and like many I’m starting to go through my recipes to see what I can contribute to the family dinner.

For those of you who would like an idea that isn’t pie, you should try this Chocolate Flan Cheesecake. This cake is made by several restaurants here in San Antonio, and this recipe comes from Beto’s ComidaLatina.

This cake is layered with chocolate cake on the bottom with flan as its second layer. Then the cake is topped with caramel cascading over the top and down the sides. The fun thing about assembling this cake is that you actually place the cake batter in the pan before then flan mixture.  During the baking process the flan passes through the batter and stays between it and the caramel.

A couple of tips:  When you get to step three, be sure to mix your cream cheese and sugar first.  The copy of the recipe that I have starts with the milk first and then ends with the cream cheese.  Adding the sugar and cream cheese last will create a lumpy flan. I’ve inverted the ingredients for you so you won’t make the same mistake.  Also, you’ll need to bake this cake 12-24 hours ahead of serving.  The cake needs to cool so the flan can become stable.  Baking the cake only a few hours before serving will cause the cake to collapse.

Oh, and here is a rating factor on how good this cake is — my husband says its his favorite.

Chocolate Flan Cheesecake

1 Jar Caramel

3 Eggs
3/4 cup Oil
1 1/4 cup Water
1 box Devils Food Cake Mix

8 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Sugar
5 Eggs
1 tea Vanilla
1 can Evaporated Milk (12 oz)
1 can Condensensd Milk
1 cup Milk

Pour caramel into a bundt pan
Mix all number TWO ingredients together in a container
Mix all number THREE ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Float the number TWO mixture over the caramel in the bundt pan.
Then float the number Three mixture over the number Two mixture.
Submerge bundt pan in a larger pan of water up to about 3/4 of the bundt pan (VERY IMPORTANT!)
Bake at 350F for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Remove — let cool thoroughly — invert cake into a cake dish
Let cool about 12-24 hours.