Chocolate Raspberry Brioche Buns: Recipe #240

These are bites of pure heaven. Chocolate raspberry brioche buns are clouds of fluffy bread stuffed with a single raspberry and a square of chocolate that melt together as they bake. You bite into one and a burst of flavor comes through the soft pillowy brioche. Magical.

We decided to bake instead of fry these, and to put chocolate + raspberry together instead of separating them.

Which brings up a great insight about how to make decisions. If you’re stuck on something, take a moment to sit quietly, be with your breath, and feel your body. Allow yourself to be present with whatever emotions or sensations come up.

Trust that you already know what to do, and trust the decision to reveal itself. It doesn’t have to be the “right” decision. Just pick something, go with it, and learn.

Thanks to Paul for this recipe’s inspiration and to all of you for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($6.50 for 18 filled buns)

1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tsp brown sugar – $0.01
1/3 cup hot soy milk (heat for 30 seconds in the microwave to reach 140F) – $0.12
1 1/2 cup white flour – $0.24
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour – $0.09
2 tbsp brown sugar – $0.06
3/4 tsp salt – $0.03
2 eggs – $0.58
Knead 10 minutes
1/2 cup Miyoko’s vegan butter, softened – $1.24
Knead 5 minutes
Fridge O/N
16 raspberries – $2.50
16 small-ish chunks of dark chocolate – $1.00
Rise 15 minutes warm place
Soy wash
Bake 350 20 mins

Directions for Chocolate Raspberry Brioche Buns

1. In a small, non-metal bowl, mix the yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, and warmed soy milk. Stir gently to combine and let it sit for 5 minutes to form a thick foam on top of the liquid.

In a large metal bowl, mix together the flours, 2 tbsp brown sugar, and salt. Mix the eggs into the yeast mixture, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a ball, then knead by hand for 10 minutes until it’s nice and smooth.

Next, add the vegan butter, squish it in with your hands and enjoy the magnificent sound, then knead for 5 more minutes. It will be lovely and soft, and it’s ok if it’s a bit sticky.

Put the dough into a plastic bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

2. The next morning, put the dough on a lightly floured board and knead it a few times to get the air out. Use a sharp knife to cut it into 18 equal-sized pieces and shape each one into a ball.

Wash and dry your raspberries, and prepare your chocolate chunks. Flatten each ball into a disc, put a chocolate-stuffed raspberry in the middle, and fold the dough up around the raspberry. Pinch the dough together and gently roll it back into a ball, with the surprise nicely tucked inside. Repeat for each of the 18 balls.

Put the stuffed balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with cling wrap or a damp tea towel, and let them rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.

3. When the buns have doubled in size, brush them with some extra soy milk, then bake at 350F for 16-20 minutes until they’re nice and golden brown.

Cool for a few minutes, then serve your chocolate raspberry brioche buns warm, with plant-based whipped cream and dusted with icing sugar if you like. Celebrate your decision to make these delicious treats! ❤️

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (Vegan): Recipe #236

How can a cupcake help me become enlightened, you might ask? Or maybe you didn’t ask, but now you’re curious. Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh talks about how we can all become “part-time Buddhas” whenever we take a moment to enjoy a mindful breath, a smile, a mindful step, or… a thoroughly savored bite of cupcake! These dark chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, made without any animal ingredients, are our gift to you on your path of awakening. 🙂

Thanks to Isa for inspiration, and thanks to you all for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($14 for 24 cupcakes)

Cupcakes:
2 cups soy milk – $0.74
2 tsp apple cider vinegar – $0.20
1 1/2 cups brown sugar – $0.79
2/3 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid – $5.50
3 tsp vanilla – $0.60
1 cup flour – $0.16
1 cup white whole wheat flour – $0.18
2/3 cup cocoa powder – $0.73
1 1/2 tsp baking soda – $0.03
1 tsp baking powder – $0.02
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03

Icing:
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, room temperature – $1.16
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
2 1/2 cups icing sugar – $2.20
1/4 cup soy milk – $0.08
2 tbsp coconut oil – $1.10

Directions

1. Make the cupcakes. In a large bowl, mix the soy milk and vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes to curdle and get thick. Then mix in the brown sugar, coconut oil and vanilla. Whisk until it gets foamy.

Next, in a separate bowl, mix the flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix just until they’re combined. It will be a little bit lumpy and that’s ok.

Scoop the batter into 24 paper-lined muffin tins and bake at 350F for 18 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tins and cool on a rack.

2. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the icing. Mix the peanut butter, vanilla, icing sugar, and soy milk in a large bowl. Use a fork or an electric beater (if you have one) to combine it all together. Then add the coconut oil and keep mixing until it’s very smooth. Finally, cover the bowl and refrigerate for half an hour to firm up a bit.

3. Once the cupcakes are cool and the icing is chilled, spread the icing on the cupcakes either with a knife or using a piping bag and fancy tip. Enjoy your moment of enlightenment, savoring the darkness of the chocolate against the sweet, creamy icing. 😍

Any leftover dark chocolate peanut butter cupcakes freeze well for future mindful moments too!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Baked Vegan Beignets: Recipe #233

Beignets are a traditional French or Louisiana breakfast of pillowy fried dough dusted with powdered sugar. We wanted to experiment with a non-fried, plant-based version, so these baked vegan beignets were born. Thank you to Kellie and Meggy for inspiration.

And thank YOU for being part of our delicious, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($1.50 total for 16 baked vegan beignets)

6 tbsp hot water from the tap (about 130F) – free
1 + 2 tbsp brown sugar – $0.09
3/4 tsp active dry yeast – $0.15
1 vegan “egg” replacement (soak 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 2 tbsp water in the fridge for 5 minutes) – $0.12
1/4 cup + 4 tsp soy milk – $0.13
2 tbsp melted margarine or vegan butter – $0.31
1/2 tsp vanilla – $0.10
1 cup flour – $0.16
1 cup white whole wheat flour – $0.16
Powdered sugar for dusting – $0.25

Directions

1. In a small non-metal bowl, mix the hot water, 1 tbsp brown sugar, and yeast. Stir gently and allow to sit for 5 minutes to form a layer of foam on top and activate the yeast.

Then mix in the vegan “egg” you prepared (by putting the flax seeds and water in the fridge for 5 minutes to get all thick and gloopy, like an egg). Add the 1/4 cup soy milk to the yeast-flax mixture as well, along with the melted butter and vanilla.

Next, gradually in the flour, mix well with a wooden spoon, and form into a ball of dough. Knead with your hands for 15 minutes until it gets nice and smooth. Place the ball of dough in a metal bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour to double in size.

2. When the dough has risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4″ thick, then use a sharp knife to cut it into 16 pieces of whatever shape you like. We did a combination of square-ish shapes and triangle-ish shapes.

Next, place them on two parchment-lined baking sheets, cover with tea towels, and let them rise in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes to about double again.

After the beignets have risen, gently brush them with the 4 tsp of soy milk, then bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes, until they’re beautifully golden and puffed up.

3. Remove from the oven and serve your baked vegan beignets hot, dusted with powdered sugar or dunked in your coffee or soy milk. They also freeze well for future breakfasts reheated in the toaster, if you have some left. Bon appetit!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Plant-Based Camping

We just got back from nine days of camping in a tent, and boy did it feel good to get home to a comfy bed. It was a fun challenge to plan, prepare, pack, and cook all our own food though. I’m very grateful for our little gas camp stove.

This year we decided to go plant-based instead of bringing the usual hot dogs, bacon, eggs, milk, and burgers. I didn’t hear any complaints! Here are some of the things we made below. We improvised the rest from leftover meals and ingredients we had on hand.

Of course the mountains, rivers, meadows, and forests were incredibly beautiful and healing too. Hope you find these recipes helpful if you get out on your own nature adventure!

Coconut french toast with crusty fluffy bread (baked before the trip and frozen), blueberries, plums and vegan sausages

Teriyaki tofu stirfry with noodles and greens

Plant-based burgers with homemade buns (baked before the trip and frozen), green beans and melted chocolate fondue with bananas, marshmallows and graham crackers

Banana peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookie pancakes for a special morning treat

Restorative coconut ginger dal after a long day

Lunch while hiking: trail mix, chocolate zucchini muffins (baked before the trip and frozen, using flax seeds instead of eggs in the batter), apples and oranges, veggie chips, protein and fruit bars, chocolate, and tons of water

Camping chili burritos with plant-based ground meat instead of turkey

Peanut butter banana apricot sandwiches on leftover burger buns

Camping minestrone with nutritional yeast and some spinach that we managed to find half-way through the trip in a local small town

Fluffy apple pancakes near the end of the trip since apples keep pretty well

S’mores creations: straight up and in apple, orange, pancake, and bite-sized varieties

Here’s a happy camper face to brighten your day. Wishing you love, peace, and freedom from suffering in your life. Hope you enjoy your meals today!

Crusty Two-Tier Artisan Bread: Recipe #227

One of our coronavirus quarantine projects has been learning to make artisan bread of many kinds. Here’s another beautiful and delicious experiment, inspired by Paul Hollywood’s classic cottage loaf recipe. For our version of this crusty two-tier artisan bread, we used coconut oil instead of lard. So good!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($3.50 for a large loaf)

1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tsp brown sugar – $0.01
1/2 cup hottest tap water – free
4 tbsp coconut oil – $2.20
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup warm water – free
2 cups white flour – $0.32
2 cups whole wheat flour – $0.36
1 tbsp salt – $0.12

Directions for Crusty Two-Tier Artisan Bread

1. In a small non-metal bowl, gently mix the yeast, brown sugar, and hottest tap water. Let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom, then add the coconut oil and warm water.

In a large metal bowl, stir together the flour and salt, then add in the yeast mixture and mix until it comes together into a nice soft ball of dough. Knead it by hand on a lightly floured board for 10 minutes to work out the gluten and make it smooth and elastic. Then put it back in the large, lightly oiled metal bowl. Rise in a warm place for about an hour to double in size.

Once it’s risen, knead the dough for 2 minutes more to knock the air out so it will rise upwards instead of flattening outwards.

The next instruction comes straight from Paul Hollywood’s expertise, since it’s a bit complicated to explain:

“Tear off one third of the dough and set aside. Shape the larger piece into a ball by first flattening the dough into a rough rectangle, then rolling it into a thick oblong. Turn the dough so that the longer edge is running away from you and flatten it slightly. Now fold in the two ends to the centre and press them down, so you end up with a chunky, squarish shape. Turn the dough over, so that the join is underneath. With your palms turned upwards, put your hands on each side, slightly under the dough. Move the cob around, tucking the dough neatly under itself as it turns. You are gently forcing the sides of the dough down and underneath, to create a smooth, taut top and a rough underside. Avoid using too much extra flour during shaping.

Place the ball of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat the rolling and shaping for the smaller piece of dough, then place the smaller ball on top of the larger ball. Flatten the top slightly. Dust your middle finger and forefinger with flour and push them through the centre of the loaf all the way to the bottom. Use a sharp knife to make 8 slashes in the surface of both the top and larger lower part of the loaf.”

When you’re done, it will look something like the photos below.

2. Gently cover the shaped dough with cling wrap and rise another 30-60 minutes in a warm place, just until it has doubled and the dough springs back when you poke it. Dust the risen loaf with flour.

3. Preheat the oven to 415F and put a large tray of water on a lower rack to heat up with the oven so it creates steam (this gives the bread a nice crunchy crust). When the oven is up to temperature, put the bread in on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, turn the temperature down to 375F. Bake for 20-25 more minutes, until it’s crusty, golden brown, and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy your crusty two-tier artisan bread as a snack or an accompaniment to any meal!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Apricot Plum Cobbler (Plant-Based): Recipe #222

Would you believe I’ve made it through 43 years on this planet without ever making a cobbler? And I don’t remember ever eating one either. What is a cobbler, you say? It’s baked fruit with fresh biscuit dough on top, which sounds spectacular! We had some soft summer fruit to use up, so we adapted a peach raspberry recipe from the fantastic book Isa Does It to make our apricot plum cobbler. Yum!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($10 for one 8×8″ pan = 9 servings)

Fruit filling:
2 cups apricots, quartered – $3.00
2 cups plums, quartered – $3.00
1 nectarine, sliced – $0.99
1 lemon, juiced – $0.20
1/2 cup brown sugar – $0.26
2 tbsp cornstarch – $0.20
2 tbsp flour – $0.02
1/4 tsp salt – $0.01

Biscuit dough:
6 tbsp soy milk – $0.14
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.27
1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour – $0.26
1-1/2 tsp baking powder – $0.05
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
3 tbsp brown sugar – $0.09
2 tbsp coconut oil – $1.10
2 tbsp margarine – $0.31
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20

Directions for Apricot Plum Cobbler

1. Bake the fruit: Mix all the fruit filling ingredients together and spread out in a greased 8×8″ pan. Cover with foil and bake at 425F for 20 minutes.

While that’s baking, make the biscuit dough: In a small bowl, mix the soy milk and vinegar. Let it sit for a minute or two to curdle. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar together. Add the coconut oil and margarine into the dry ingredients and rub it together with your fingers until it turns into crumbs. Mix the vanilla into the curdled soy milk, then add all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix into a ball of dough. Separate the dough into 9 even balls.

2. Take the baked fruit out of the oven, remove the foil, and drop the biscuit dough balls on top of the fruit. Bake again, uncovered this time, for another 20 minutes. The biscuits will get golden brown when it’s done, and the fruit mixture will bubble up. Remove the cobbler from the oven.

Use a large spoon to scoop out a whole biscuit and all the fruit underneath it into a bowl. Serve your apricot plum cobbler warm as is or with non-dairy yogurt/ice cream. Enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Mappleberry Muffins: Recipe #221

Apples, blueberries, maple syrup, oats – these mappleberry muffins have all the wholesome goodness of Canada. And no animals were harmed in making them! We polished these off for breakfast over a couple of days. Hope you enjoy them too.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5.50 for 12 muffins)

1 1/4 cup flour – $0.20
2/3 cup whole wheat flour – $0.12
2 1/2 tsp baking powder – $0.04
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1 cup rolled oats – $0.12
3/4 cup brown sugar – $0.39
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
1/3 cup maple syrup – $1.43
3/4 cup soy milk – $0.28
1/2 cup almond milk yogurt – $0.67
1/3 cup canola oil – $0.22
1 1/4 cup frozen blueberries – $1.25
1 apple, grated, with skin – $0.29

Directions for Mappleberry Muffins

1. In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, salt, oats, and brown sugar. In a separate small bowl, mix the vanilla, maple syrup, soy milk, yogurt, and canola oil. Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and mix just until combined. Then fold in the grated apple and frozen blueberries until they’re evenly distributed. Do not overmix. The batter will turn purple, and that’s ok!

2. Pour the batter into 12 lined muffin cups. Sprinkle a few extra oats on top of each muffin if you like. Bake at 400F for 18-20 minutes until golden on top and a chopstick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, then enjoy with your morning coffee, tea, or soy milk.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Chocolate Chip Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes: Recipe #215

It’s a mouthful of words and a mouthful of wonderful taste sensations. We made these “chocolate chip banana peanut butter oatmeal cookie pancakes” one weekend for a celebration we were having, and everyone wanted more. You can’t really go wrong with chocolate, banana, peanut butter, and oatmeal. And they’re dairy-free! Thanks to Dana and John for inspiration.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($4 for about 8-10 thick pancakes)

2 bananas, mashed – $0.38
2 tsp baking powder – $0.05
2 eggs – $0.58
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
2 tsp vanilla – $0.40
2 tbsp peanut butter – $0.30
2 tbsp melted coconut or canola oil – $1.10
6 tbsp soy milk – $0.15
1 cup oats – $0.12
1/2 cup whole wheat flour – $0.10
1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips – $0.50

Margarine or cooking spray, maple syrup (optional)

Directions for Chocolate Chip Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes!

1. Make the batter: in a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the baking powder. Next, add in the eggs, peanut butter, oil, and soy milk. Mix to combine, then stir in the oats, whole wheat flour, and chocolate chips. Stir together just until there are no clumps of flour left.

Let the batter sit and rest for about 10 minutes while you get the griddle ready.

2. Heat the griddle to about 350F, or a frying pan to medium heat. Spread a little bit of margarine or cooking spray over the surface to prevent sticking if you like, then pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake.

Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side until they’re nice and golden, flipping them with a flapjack when the first side is cooked.

3. Serve hot with fresh maple syrup or any other pancake toppings you like! They’re also fantastic to eat as they are. If you have any leftovers, they will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for longer. Enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Homemade Waffles with Berries: Recipe #207

Here’s another favorite recipe to make with fresh berries. Waffles originated in Belgium and are now enjoyed around the world. The process is not that different from making pancakes, but you’ll need a waffle attachment for your griddle, or a waffle maker. Homemade waffles are a wonderful weekend treat!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 for 8 waffles plus toppings)

2 eggs – $0.58
2 cups soy milk – $0.74
1/4 cup canola oil – $0.19
1/2 tsp vanilla – $0.10
1 tbsp brown sugar – $0.03
1 cup white flour + 1 cup whole wheat flour – $0.32
4 tsp baking powder – $0.06
1/4 tsp salt – $0.03
Canola oil spray for the waffle iron – $0.15

1/2 cup fresh blueberries or strawberries – $2.00
Tub of non-dairy whipped cream – $2.99

Directions for Homemade Waffles

1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they’re light and frothy. Add in the soy milk, 1/4 cup canola oil, vanilla, brown sugar, flours, baking powder, and salt. Mix just until smooth. Wash all the berries and slice the strawberries.

2. Preheat your waffle iron to about 350F and spray both sides with the canola oil spray. Spoon the waffle batter into one side of the griddle, filling each one up just until the mold is covered. Close the lid so the top of the mold closes down over the batter, and cook for about 5 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when you can lift the top up gently and the waffles are golden brown and fall away from the mold.

Serve your homemade waffles hot with fresh berries and (if desired) non-dairy whipped topping and/or maple syrup. Yummy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Chocolate Almond Veggan Croissants: #199 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

I’ve been afraid of laminated pastry for a while. So many steps, and trips to the fridge, and what if the butter all leaks out into a mess? But Megan was brave enough to take up the challenge, and she made these amazingly flaky, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, AND dairy-free croissants with vegan butter and homemade marzipan. I would happily eat these anytime she wants to make them. Thanks to Food52 for inspiration.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($9 total for 9 mini croissants)

Dough:
1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
2 tbsp brown sugar – $0.06
1/4 cup hottest tap water – free
2 cups flour – $0.32
1 tsp salt – $0.10
1 1/2 tbsp vegan butter, room temperature (we used Miyoko’s) – $0.66
1/4 cup cold soy milk – $0.09

Other bits:
10 tbsp (5 oz) cold vegan butter (Miyoko’s) – $4.37
Extra flour as needed for rolling pastry
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash – $0.29
1/2 cup chocolate chips – $0.50

Marzipan:
3/4 cup ground almonds – $0.95
9 tbsp powdered sugar – $0.99
1 1/2 tbsp water – free
1/2 tsp almond extract – $0.14
1/2 tsp vanilla extract – $0.14

Directions

1. Make and do the first lamination of the dough: In a small non-metal bowl, gently mix the yeast, brown sugar, and hottest tap water. Let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to form a thick foam on top. In a large metal bowl, mix the flour and salt.

Add the yeast mixture, softened vegan butter, and soy milk to the flour mixture, and stir it together into a ball of dough. Knead with your hands for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Flatten the dough into a disk, put it on a lightly floured plate, cover with cling wrap and rest in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, slice the cold butter up into thin chunks, lay them out in a square between two pieces of parchment paper, and use a rolling pin to flatten it out into an even square of butter. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a floured board – it will be nice and smooth.

Put the butter square on top of the larger dough circle, and fold two opposite sides of the dough in towards the middle, then fold the other two edges in towards the middle, pinching along the way to make a nice seal and keep the butter tucked away well inside the dough.

2. Laminate away! Use a floured counter and flip the dough regularly. Gently and evenly roll out the folded up butter-in-dough into about an 8×12″ rectangle, or as big as you can get it without the butter squeezing out through the dough. Fold it over in thirds, cover, and store in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Repeat this rolling, folding, covering, and fridge-ing 2 more times, then on the last one leave it in the fridge overnight again.

3. The next morning (2 days after starting this recipe!), roll the dough out as thinly as you can on a clean and floured counter. Make long cuts at angles to create a thin triangle pattern (see photos below). Roll each croissant up from the long end to the pointy end, and tuck the pointy end underneath the croissant so it doesn’t pop up when it bakes.

Before you roll them up, you can add chocolate chips or homemade marzipan (made by mixing all the marzipan ingredients listed above together into a paste). Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let rise in a slightly warm place for 1 1/2 hours.

Brush the croissants with the beaten egg. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack or enjoying them hot from the oven.

They freeze well in a sealed container if you’re not going to eat them the same day. Enjoy the flaky, layered pastry goodness anytime you want a treat. Bon appetit!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!