Almost 20 years ago my grandmother gave me “The Taste of Home Baking Book” including 478 pages of decadent recipes for all times of the year, but especially celebrations and holidays. This baking book is old-school (think lots of butter and Crisco) and while there is nothing wrong with that, my knowledge of health, what I enjoy, and what I can put in my body has changed. Instead of throwing the cookbook out, I simply adapted the recipes to what fits my lifestyle. The cookbook is so special to me and has my grandmother’s inscription inside the front cover. While we live in very different times and circumstances these days it is comforting to look back on these snapshots of a different time. My hope is that these recipes will bring some joy back into your home during this very different holiday season.
Healthy Homemade Baking Recipes
My two favorite treats my grandmother always makes for Christmas morning (along with her famous scrambled eggs and microwave bacon) are cinnamon rolls and coffee cake. Albeit grandma’s recipes are special, she is a big fan of Pillsbury and Betty Crocker, so these recipes will be slightly more health-conscious.
This particular recipe is not from the Taste of Home Cookbook, but I just love it and found it from the blog “Delightful Adventures: vegan + gluten-free recipes.”
Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 3/4 cup room temperature/lukewarm unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/3 cup oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
- In your stand mixer bowl, add the yeast, 1 tsp of sugar, and lukewarm water. Let stand for a few minutes.
- When the yeast has foamed up, add the room temperature/lukewarm milk, oil, salt, ground cinnamon, sugar, and 1 cup of flour. Mix with a spoon to combine.
- Put stand mixer bowl in place, add 2 more cups of flour and using the dough hook, allow the mixer to knead.
- If the dough is sticky, add flour 1/2 cup at a time.
- Let the mixer knead the dough for about 4 minutes and until it is no longer sticky.
- Remove dough from mixer bowl and oil the inside lightly. Place dough back in the bowl, cover with a towel and let it sit in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- After the hour has passed, punch the dough down and let it sit for a few minutes while you prepare the pan and filling.
- Lightly grease an 11″ x 13″ pan or line the pan with parchment paper. If using parchment paper, allow an overhang on each side so the rolls can be easily removed from the pan when done.
- If using, prepare raisins.
- In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and the cinnamon.
- Lightly flour your work surface, stretch and roll your dough into a rectangle that is approximately 12″ x 18″.
- Brush melted coconut oil over the entire surface.
- Sprinkle brown sugar/cinnamon mixture onto dough.
- Sprinkle raisins (if using) evenly onto the dough.
- From the long side, firmly roll the dough. Roll slowly to ensure it is tight as can be.
- Pinch the entire length of the seam to seal and turn the entire roll seam side down so it’s at the bottom.
- Slice off an inch of dough from each end.
- Slice the roll into 12 slices.
- Place each slice into the parchment-lined pan. It’s OK if they are close together (see image above).
- If baking the same day, cover with a towel and place in a warm spot. Let rise for 30 minutes.
- If baking the next day, cover rolls with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.
- Pre-heat oven to 375° F (190° C)
- After the rolls have rested, bake for about 20 minutes or until they are lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes in pan.
- Remove using parchment paper overhang and place on a cooling rack.
- Add the powdered sugar and unsweetened non-dairy milk to a small bowl.
- Whisk together until combined.
- Drizzle icing over the tops of the warm cinnamon rolls, or drizzle onto the rolls individually as they are being served
Sour Crean Streusel Coffee Cake (Taste of Home)
This is the recipe that looks most like the one my grandmother makes out of a box. You will see the original recipe with my healthy substitutes.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened (substitute Earth Balance or 3/4 cup coconut oil)
- 1 cup of sugar (use raw unrefined organic sugar)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream (use organic or substitute Greek-yogurt)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (organic Himalayan sea salt)
- 1/4 cup sugar (use raw unrefined organic sugar)
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (organic)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture and beat until combined. Spread half the batter into a greased 13×9-in. baking pan or dish.
- In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients; sprinkle half the topping over batter. Dollop with remaining batter and sprinkle with topping. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Healthy Cookie Recipes That Actually Taste Good
Now, on to one of the most important holiday recipes.. cookies! If you are gathering this season, hopefully, you are wearing your mask and distancing, or outdoors, but if you are gathering don’t come empty-handed bring one of these healthy recipes with you!
Almond Kiss Cookies
(you can sub hugs, holiday peppermint kisses)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened (substitute earth balance or coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup pac