Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls

Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls | Kneading Home

These are my favorite christmas cinnamon rolls adapted for summer. We made rhubarb compound butter last week and now I'm putting it to good use! The light coconut cream frosting and strawberry rhubarb filling makes these buns perfect for early summer! 

Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls | Kneading Home
Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls | Kneading Home
Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls | Kneading Home
Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls | Kneading Home
Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls | Kneading Home
Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls | Kneading Home
Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls | Kneading Home
Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls | Kneading Home
Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls | Kneading Home

Notes: Dough can be made ahead of time. Let it rise fully (2 hours, plus 20 minutes) then cover and refrigerate up to about 3 days. The rhubarb butter and frosting can also be made up to 3 days in advance. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls
Makes about 15
Adapted from: Flourishing Foodie

For the dough:
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon cane sugar
1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 tablespoons cane sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup water

For the filling:
1 cup rhubarb compound butter, softened
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled & diced
1 tablespoon arrowroot (or cornstarch)
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

For the frosting:
1 batch coconut lemon frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer proof the yeast with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 cup of warmed water. Set aside, after about 5 minutes the yeast should look puffy and bloomed. 

In a medium bowl, mix together both flours, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and salt. Set aside. 

In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, egg and vanilla. Add 3/4 cup of water and the butter mixture to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Then with the stand mixer on low slowly add the flour mixture until the dough because integrated and sticks to the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, with heavily floured hands knead it into a ball then place in a well oiled bowl in a warm area, covered for two hours. 

Meanwhile, prepare the rhubarb butter and lemon coconut frosting if you haven't already. After two hours, punch the dough down then let sit for 20 additional minutes. 

Prepare the filling by tossing all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. 

On a well floured work space roll the dough out into a large rectangle (about 14 X 18 inches). Carefully spread on the rhubarb butter. Drain any liquid from the strawberry mixture then top the rhubarb butter with strawberries. Starting from the long end begin to roll the dough up into a tube. Carefully cut the tube into 15-16 equally thick rolls and place cut side down in an oiled 8x13 inch baking dish (I ran out of space and placed the last one in a ramekin). Let sit for 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400. Position one rack in the middle the second rack on the lowest rung. Fill a baking dish with water and place it on the low rack. Place the cinnamon rolls on the rack above and cook for 25 - 35 minutes until lightly browned and a skewer comes out clean. 

Top with frosting and enjoy! 

Rhubarb Compound Butter

Rhubarb Compound Butter | Kneading Home

Guys, I've recently discovered podcasts. Specifically food podcasts! My husband has been away and although my french cafe pandora station keeps me company while cooking, there's something quite lovely about stimulating my brain and geeking out about food with people that get me. 

I came up with the idea for this compound butter from NPR's The Splendid Table. I could listen to Lynne Rossetto Kasper talk for days! We've been hitting up the farmer's markets in Chicago and they are chock full of rhubarb this time of year. Not going to lie, I made 3 batches of this stuff and plan on savoring it for months to come. 

Once the butter has softened it comes together in under 15 minutes. It's lovely on sourdough toast or pancakes. And if you check back next week we'll be using it for something special. 

Rhubarb Compound Butter | Kneading Home
Rhubarb Compound Butter | Kneading Home
Rhubarb Compound Butter | Kneading Home
Rhubarb Compound Butter | Kneading Home
Rhubarb Compound Butter | Kneading Home
Rhubarb Compound Butter | Kneading Home

Notes: I made this butter several times with both coconut sugar and regular cane sugar. For some reason the coconut sugar gave it a richer more caramelized flavor that I preferred but also a darker, less pink color. That being said, these photos were taken from a cane sugar batch so if yours comes out looking darker not a problem. 

I see no reason why you couldn't use vegan butter instead. Earth Balance butter sticks are my go-to for vegan butter replacements. 

Rhubarb Compound Butter
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature*
6oz rhubarb, ~ 1 1/4 cup diced
2/3 cup coconut sugar (or sub cane sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the the diced rhubarb, sugar, salt, water, lemon juice, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Cooking over high heat, bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Continue to cook at a gentle boil, stirring frequently and mashing up the rhubarb as it softens, for 5-10 minutes until most of the liquid is dissolved and the mixture reaches the consistency of jam. Let cool completely. 

In the bowl of a stand mixture, beat together the butter and rhubarb mixture together until completely incorporated. Store in a ramekin covered tightly in plastic wrap. 

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Lavender Lemonade Cupcakes {vegan}

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A couple weeks ago I celebrated my three year "veggiversary" and made these cupcakes to celebrate. I had been teetering on the edge of vegetarianism for years before taking the plunge. My junior year of college I studied abroad in Italy and convinced myself I could subsist on pasta alone, attempting to limit the amount of meat I consumed. I continued when I got home that summer in New York but constantly felt weak and shaky. I had no idea what I was doing, and ate a diet of almost exclusively some version of cheese and white carbs, and quickly went back to eating meat regularly. 

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Lavender Lemonade Cupcakes {vegan} | Kneading Home
Lavender Lemonade Cupcakes {vegan} | Kneading Home
Lavender Lemonade Cupcakes {vegan} | Kneading Home

Then on May 21st, 2013 I casually decided to watch the movie Vegucated while eating lunch at home between teaching yoga classes. I'm not going to lie, seeing the conditions of animals on factory farms made me sick to my stomach, so sick I figured I'd give this whole vegetarian thing another try. I thought to myself if I can make a real impact on the lives of animals with minimal effort on my part, why wouldn't I? I craved meat a bit in the first few weeks, I ate a lot of pasta with vegetables, and peanut butter sandwiches. I remember being so excited when I calculated how much protein I actually needed based on my weight and exercise level (it's less than you think). I soon learned how to incorporate beans and protein-rich whole grains like quinoa into nearly every dinner at home, and am proud to say I now resort to pasta only a couple times a month! But overall, it's become seamless, it's not something I think about except when I'm out at a restaurant. And it's forced me to become exponentially more creative in the kitchen, develop a greater appreciation for foods of different cultures, and a fierce love for homemade black beans.

Lavender Lemonade Cupcakes {vegan} | Kneading Home
Lavender Lemonade Cupcakes {vegan} | Kneading Home

Fast forward a couple years and I had moved to Los Angeles, possibly the world's mecca of health food with incredible accessibility to nearly any fresh fruit or vegetable you could imagine, and things had slowly begun to shift. I'd learned how to incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as mains while letting meat serve more as accents to the meals we ate at home. My OCD-tendencies hated all the hand-washing and careful counter and cutting board wiping that came with cooking raw meat, so before we knew it, meat became something we only enjoyed on weekend date nights. 

I'm a firm believer in the idea that every dollar we spend is a vote we cast in a world we choose to support. Money speaks volumes, especially in an economy and political atmosphere like ours. So of course I get the appeal of eating meat, I ate it for nearly 24 years, but I think by making small changes in our meat consumption like reducing it to just a couple days a week or seeking out meat from animals who didn't spend their whole lives suffering on factory farms, or maybe taking the plunge and giving it up altogether we can really make a difference in the lives of animals. 

Also these cupcakes! They're vegan and they are unbelievable, fresh, summery and the perfect way to celebrate my three year anniversary with all foods plant-based. Enjoy. 

Lavender Lemonade Cupcakes {vegan} | Kneading Home
Lavender Lemonade Cupcakes {vegan} | Kneading Home
Lavender Lemonade Cupcakes {vegan} | Kneading Home
Lavender Lemonade Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
Adapted from: Food52

For the frosting:
1 can coconut cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup powdered sugar

For the cupcakes:
1 cup + 1 tablespoon almond milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cane sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest, packed (from ~ 3 lemons)
1 1/2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender buds, + more for garnish
1/2 cup coconut oil, in solid form
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Prepare the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer) whisk together the coconut cream, vanilla, lemon juice and zest until smooth. With the mixer on low gradually sprinkle in the sugar and continue mixing until fully incorporated. Taste and adjust adding more sugar or lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate while you make the cupcakes. (Note: the frosting can be made up to 2 days in advanced).  

Make the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with 12 liners, then lightly spray the cupcake liners with oil (I use trader joe's coconut oil spray). 

Combine almond milk and lemon juice then set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside. In a small prep bowl, mix together the sugar, lemon zest and lavender until moist and fragrant. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer) cream together the solid coconut oil, vanilla extract, and the sugar mixture until smooth and creamy. Add about a third of the flour mixture, followed by a third of the milk mixture, repeat allowing the batter to incorporate between additions until all of the milk and flour mixtures are incorporated into a smooth batter. 

Divide the batter equally in the cupcake pan and cook for 20-24 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. 

Top the cupcakes with frosting and sprinkle with lavender. Cupcakes store best in the refrigerator and keep for 3-4 days. 

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