Humble Bee Bake Shoppe

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about my favorite local bakery, the Humble Bee. While not 100% vegan, they have the best vegan goodies in town.

Prior to the Covid situation I would go there about once a month for goodies. During Covid they are currently providing curb-side service for online orders once a week. I haven’t seen anything on the menu that excited me enough to leave my house (I have plenty of time to bake whatever excites me), until this weekend. They had vegan macarons on the menu. I had to order, finding vegan macarons is such a challenge.

The flavors were chocolate, raspberry, and cookie butter. They’re all delicious.

Advertisement

Zucchini Overload

My partner was given several large zucchini. I couldn’t let it go to waste and I got to try some fun ways to cook it. As always, I seemed to gravitate to baking (I have a sweet tooth and stress baking is something I often do).

I made some of my old standards (including tacos), but these were the new things I tried and that’s what this post is going to focus on.

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

I used the recipe from Isa Does It.  I borrowed the heart shaped bundt cake pan from my mom. It came out tasty and pretty.

 

Zucchini Bread

I used this recipe. I added some extra spices. The bread was a nice mix of summer flavor and comforting spice.

 

Zucchini Boats 

I’ve seen a bunch of recipes for zucchini boats. This was my first attempt and it came out pretty good. I spooned out the zucchini guts and diced the bits up. I mixed those with some chickpeas, garlic (3 cloves), some halved grape tomatoes, a couple shakes of Italian seasoning, olive oil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I should have added red pepper flakes. I cooked it in the oven for a about 30 minutes at 400.

 

A Vegan Food Truck: Mike’s Vegan Cookout

Here in NC, food trucks are still allowed to operate, as long as people take their food home to eat it. Today, Mike’s Vegan Cookout came to my town for the first time. I knew I had to try it.

The menu isn’t the type of thing I would normally get. They had beyond burgers with tons of fancy toppings and vegan hot dogs (pretty sure they were Lightlife) with the same fancy toppings. Usually, I avoid meat substitutes, but I figured it was worth a shot.

I ordered the Colombiana hot dog for myself and the Carolina dog for my partner. The Colombiana had pineapple, cheese, special sauce, and crushed potato chips on it. It was really good. I actually enjoyed a vegan hot dog for the first time ever. My partner really enjoyed his Carolina dog.

I also got us the Tornado to share. It reminded me of the potatoes I would get whenever I went to the fair as a child. It was fried and yummy. The chili was tasty, though some hot sauce would have been nice.

They also had peach cobbler. I have a rule that if I ever have an opportunity to get vegan dessert, I take the opportunity (vegan desserts are so hard to find in my part of the US). The cobbler wasn’t great. It probably would have been better warm and I think it could have used more peaches. But, it still tasted pretty good, so worth tasting.

Over all, I thought things might have been a bit expensive. However, having a vegan food truck is something really nice. I could order whatever I wanted. I also learned that nice toppings can really make a hot dog amazing and give it new life.

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

I’m afraid of baking bread and yeast in general. About the only thing I’ve made successfully is cinnamon rolls. Since I had time on my hands I made cinnamon rolls this morning. This is my 2nd time making cinnamon rolls for scratch. Each time, I’ve wondered if it was worth the time and effort. Each time, while eating a warm cinnamon roll, the answer was YES!

The dough is from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I made up the filling and icing on my own this morning. Though, I did use the margarine technique from Vegan Brunch too. IMG_3036

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Dough

  • 1 packet dry active yeast (that’s about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm/warm water
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk, room temp.
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 1/2-4 cups flour

Filling

  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped small
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Before Rolling

  • 1/4 cup margarine, small pieces/lumps

Icing

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/8-1/4 cup maple syrup
  • splash of non-dairy milk

 

Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast in water (can be done in measuring cup or in mixing bowl you plan on using). Let it sit for about 10 minutes so the yeast can do its thing. You’ll want it to be foamy and bubbly. Stir the yeast mixture, rest of sugar, milk, oil, salt, and cinnamon.

Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until you get about 3 1/2 cups, mix to incorporate flour after each addition. If the dough is sticky add more flour, until dough is not sticky.

Lightly flour a clean spot on your counter (or use parchment paper). Knead the dough until it’s smooth, probably about 5 minutes. Place into an oiled bowl or food storage container. Cover with plastic wrap, towel, or storage container lid. Leave it to rise for about an hour, or until it’s doubled in size.

Now is a good time to prepare your filing. Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl, pretty easy.

Once dough is risen, punch it down and let it rest again for about 10 minutes.

While resting prep your counter again. You can lightly flour it or, if you’re smart cut some parchment paper to just a little more than the size you need. Once the dough has rested roll it out into a rectangle that’s about 12in x 18in.

Once rolled, evenly spread filling over dough. Dot the filling with the bits of margarine.

Firmly roll the dough from the long side. You want to roll as tight as possible.

Lightly grease an 11×13 rimmed baking sheet. Slice the dough into 12 even pieces and place into prepared baking sheet. Cover with towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F. Bake for 18-22 minutes. The rolls are done when they’re a bit puffy and lightly browned.

While the rolls are baking, make your icing. To do that, mix all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl with a fork.

When the cinnamon rolls are done, immediately cover them in icing. You can use a pastry brush if you want, or drizzle the icing over the cinnamon rolls and use the back of a spoon to spread it.

Eat as soon as possible. If you don’t want to eat a whole try recipe at once, these are really good warmed up in the microwave for a few seconds.

IMG_3035

 

 

Chocolate Strawberry Mini Loaves

I’m stress baking again. The Corona virus has greatly reduced my hours for work and it’s a struggle to stay sane at home. I had a bunch of strawberries that I needed to do something with and decided that chocolate would be the best way to eat my feelings.

I used the recipe from the PPK for Cherry Chocolate Chunk Mini Loaves, but instead of cherries I used strawberries. The loaves came out delicious and were a rich treat to help me deal with the stress.

Snow Day Cookies

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but sometimes life gets busy. Part of cooking always includes failures. Part of the point of this blog is to share the failures (along with the things that come out okay).

There’s a chance of snow today and I decided to bake some snow day cookies. I tried the oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies from I Can Cook Vegan. Anyone who has seen this blog before knows that I can make cookies (I do it regularly). However, today the cookies did not come out according to plan.

I think the problem comes from using coconut oil as the fat in the cookie dough. The only recipe I’ve used that calls for coconut oil and works calls for melted coconut oil. So, I would probably try that and then let the dough rest more. I did alter the recipe a bit. I used 1/4 teaspoon salt instead of 3/4 teaspoon. I am super sensitive to salt and I usually only add the bare minimal to help things cook (a pinch here and there).

The cookies tasted alright, so it’s not a total waste.

Pina Colada Bread Pudding

It’s the middle of September. I want nothing more than fall weather. Nice, cool  weather, fall colors, being able to wear sweaters and leggings. But, it’s NC, so the weather still hasn’t dipped below 80. The heat is miserable. Today’s dessert is trying to mix my desire for cozy autumn food with the fact it’s still very much summer here. In this dish you get the coziness of a warm bread pudding the the summer flavors of a Pina Colada.

This is not my best bread pudding, but it is a fun and comforting eat.

Pina Colada Bread Pudding

  • About 3.5-4 Cups Sliced Bread (I used 1/2 a huge loaf of Country French Bread)
  • 1 13.5 oz Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 15 oz Can Pineapple Tidbits
  • 2 tsp Rum

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8inx8in square baking dish.

Mix all the ingredients, except the bread in a bowl. Mix in the bread.

Place ingredients in prepared baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy. This would go great with a frozen drink or served with a scoop of coconut ice cream or pineapple sorbet.

 

 

The Devil’s Black Metal Forest Trifle

Today’s prompt is a cartoon inspired cake. One of my favorite cartoons/animated shows is Metalocalypse. It ran on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network when I was younger. I loved the show, the music, and I even went to a Dethklok concert when I was in college.

So what’s more metal than a devils’ black metal forest cake? I’ve seen several other veganmofo bloggers make pop cakes and I decided to give it a try. I bought a box of vegan devil’s food cake mix and some Cheerwine (which is a cherry soda made here in NC, though it might be available all over the US now. I highly recommend trying it if you can get it). I also purchased my whipped cream, though you can make your own.

I had some issues with baking. I was dumb and forgot to put parchment paper in the baking pans, rookie mistake. Sure enough my cakes got stuck and broke. But what’s more brutal than a cake that’s been ripped apart? So I used all my ingredients and made a trifle. I have zero decorating skills, but I think the ugliness gives it some charm. I wish I has a prettier serving dish, but I only had a food storage container.

Clearly, this recipe will also work as a cake, if you remember to use parchment paper.

The Devil’s Black Metal Forest Trifle

Ingredients 

  • 1 Recipe Pop Cake
  • Vegan Whipped Cream
  • Cherry Goo

Pop Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 12 oz Can or Glass Bottle Cheerwine or other cherry pop

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to package directions and prep pans (use parchment paper if you want cake instead of trifle!)
  2. Mix cake mix and cherry pop.
  3. Divide amongst your pans.
  4. Bake until a toothpick come out clean (about 20-25 minutes).

Cherry Goo

Ingredients

16 oz Frozen Cherries

1/4 Cup Kirsch

Directions

  1. Mix ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over medium or high (whatever works on your stove) heat until liquid reduces by about half.

To Assemble Trifle

  1. Line the bottom of your container with cake pieces from one cake.
  2. Dollup the outer edges of the cake pieces with whipped cream.
  3. Fill in the rest of the area with cherry goo, saving half of it.
  4. Place cake pieces from the other cake on top of the whipped cream and cherry goo.
  5. Repeat the same process as on the bottom half. Only maybe make it look pretty if you want.

 

 

Peach Pie

I always love eating pie, making it is sometimes a pain in my butt. I’ve never used store bought pie crust and I always make it myself, so pie is a special treat. I haven’t made pie since moving into my apartment over a year ago.

When rolling my pie crust I rolled it out on parchment paper instead of flouring the countertop, mainly because I wanted to avoid making a mess. It was the first time I used this method and I’ll totally use it again. It worked out really well, except for sliding the top crust on the pie, I was a bit off centre.

The recipe is from Vegan Pie in The Sky. It’s for the peach basil pie, but I didn’t have basil, so it’s just peaches. For the crust I used the vodka pie crust, which is my favorite way to make pie crust. Fun fact: it’s the only reason I have vodka stored in my freezer.

So, no recipe today, but here’s a picture of my peach pie.