Sticky Buns

Sometimes, when you are a Mom and bogged down by your Mom-ness, your need for creative outlet gets shoved into a dark corner only to occasionally rear it's head when you zip off to JoAnn Fabrics because your daughter needs something for back-to-school.

You stroll the aisles, loading your cart with new markers, needlepoint supplies, paint, jewelry findings and other inspired purchases. With renewed energy and purpose you swallow the guilt when you stick your debit card into the chip reader, and load the haul into your car.

At home, you lovingly unpack, examine and test each item as you put them on the dining room table. And then MomTown rears it's ugly head and suddenly it is Christmas and you need that table so you box up the purchases and put them in the basement.

But that creative outlet itch is still bugging you.

What to do?

Well, I cook, apparently. Mr. Bitchy cooks to relieve stress. I cook to create. He's the kinda guy who can open a cabinet and see pickle juice, watermelon, and saltines and create a beautiful restaurant-worthy entree. I'm the kinda girl who likes to follow a recipe--to a certain extent, anyway. Like, if a recipe says "3 cloves of garlic" Ima add "6". I'm fly like dat.

The last time I made cinnamon rolls they were truly delicious and remained that way for about an hour. It was a great recipe that baked them in muffin tins. But, sadly, when not fresh from the oven they dried quickly and were too bread-y for my taste and languished on the counter.

As I perused recipes for Christmas morning (pancakes? crap. No syrup. Muffins? Yawn. Coffee Cake? Too much of a commitment) I came across a lovely recipe for Sticky Buns. "Hey!" I thought. "These won't be hardened balls of dough by lunchtime!" and then I thought "Crap. Can I veganize them??"

Yup.

These were incredibly simple and remained soft and gooey until the teenagers/20somethings began eating in earnest (usually after 9pm most days).

It's a simple process. Make a soft dough. Let it rise. Punch it down, and roll into a rectangle. Yep. That there is a rectangle.

Melt some vegan butter, brush on the dough. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll up and slice. Place into a pan with melted vegan butter, brown sugar and pecans in the bottom.

Let it rise a bit more and then bake. Invert the pan.

Stand back and admire the creative beauty. Also, quietly get a plate and inhale one before anyone else figures out they are ready.

Itch scratched.

A perfect ending to a shitty year. Or a hopeful beginning to a new year. IDK, you choose.

Dough

1 cup vegan milk of your choosing (I use soy)

4 Tbsp vegan butter (Earth Balance)

2 tsp. yeast

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3-4 cups flour (Don't try to health-ify these with whole wheat or other nonsense)

Warm the milk just enough until it will melt the butter as you stir it. Too hot and you will kill the yeast so do that thing you did when you prepared your baby bottles and test for temperature on your wrist.

Stir in the yeast, sugar and salt. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the flour a cup at a time and knead until a soft, non-tacky dough forms.

Move dough ball into a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour. Do you have a over-the-stove microwave? Turn the light on and put the bowl in there.

Punch the dough down and roll it out into a 9 x 12-ish rectangle-ish. Perfection is not necessary here.

Filling

1/3 cup vegan butter, melted

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

Melt the butter, brush on the dough. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough using the long 12" side. Pinch to close. Use a sharp knife to cut into individual rolls. How many? I don't care. Figure out how fat you want them to be and go for it.

Sticky

1/2 cup vegan butter, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup (or more) pecans (or nut of your choice)

Melt the butter and pour into a 8 X 8 baking dish. Sprinkle the sugar. Sprinkle the nuts.

Place the rolls swirl side up into the pan.

Let rise for a bout 20 minutes.

Bake 350 (325 in a glass pan) for about 35 minutes. Test to make certain the center is cooked. Unless Bitchy Boy is at your house. He likes the goopy part.

Let cool about 10 minutes (not longer!) and invert buns onto a serving plate.