Monday, September 19, 2011

Autumn Maple Beer Pancakes

I love getting stuff in the mail. With the exception of bills (blech, who needs 'em?!) I'm like a kid when packages arrive. In fact, I'm probably driving my neighbor crazy with all the Amazon orders that get sent to his place instead of mine. Needless to say, I was STOKED to get a couple bottles of Autumn Maple Beer from The Bruery in the mail. Recently, my friend Veronica suggested I participate in The Bruery's Facebook Blogger Invitational. Participants were given the opportunity to concoct recipes using one of their newest seasonal brews, Autumn Maple. If you live in Southern California, you are probably familiar with this small craft brewery located in Orange County. They produce Belgian style ales, many of which are totally vegan, that are inventive as they are delicious. The Autumn Maple is no exception. The Bruery challenges tradition, using yams instead of pumpkin. It's a new spin on an old classic. The end result is rich, slightly sweet, bold and spicy. It is truly Autumn in a bottle.

This recipe accomplishes a couple things. One, it fuses all those familiar fall flavors (say that five times fast!) with traditional maple-y breakfast stuffs. What you get is fluffiness, spice and Autumn Maple's rich maltiness. Two, it's a hell of a way to treat a hangover! Hair of the dog, anyone?

Autumn Maple Beer Pancakes with Warm Apple Compote

Spiced Apple Compote

1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup vegan sugar (turbinado sugar, evaporated cane juice or any organic sugar)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 vanilla bean pod, split down middle or 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum or brandy (optional, but awesome)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
4-5 apples (gala, golden delicious, fuji or honey crisp) peeled, cored and cubed
pinch of salt


In a large sauce pan, over medium-high heat, combine water, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla (entire pod), rum or brandy, salt and spices, and bring to a boil. Gently boil until all sugar is dissolved and mixture becomes slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the apples to the mixture and bring back to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and remove vanilla pods. If any seeds remain in the pods, scrape seeds and add to the apple mixture. Mixture will thicken as it cools. Serve warm over pancakes. It also makes a delicious topping for desserts and ice cream.

Autumn Maple Beer Pancakes

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (preferably soy)
1/2 cup water
1 cup Bruery Autumn Maple Beer, chilled
2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or canola)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons molasses
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Oil spray, vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance) or oil for cooking


Set your griddle pan over medium-high heat while you get your batter prepared. In a medium bowl, combine non-dairy milk with apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle for a few minutes. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, sea salt and spices, and mix well. Add the remaining wet ingredients (water, vanilla, oil, molasses, maple syrup and beer) to the non-dairy milk and vinegar mixture. Stir to combine. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and gently whisk ingredients together to form a batter. Do not over mix. A few turns of the wire whisk will suffice. Some small lumps will remain, just be sure there are no dry spots. If you find the mixture is too thick for your liking it can be thinned with a tablespoon of water or non-dairy milk.

Your griddle pan should be nice and hot now. Lightly grease the pan with your margarine, spray or oil. Using a pour spout container or ladle, carefully pour some batter on your griddle pan. Spread it around into a circle with the back of a spoon or bottom of a ladle to the desired diameter. After a few minutes the top, uncooked side will begin to set, creating little bubbles around the edges. Using a spatula, you can carefully lift up the edge and peek for doneness, if you wish. If the batter feels pretty set, you can give them a flip. If the pancake isn't golden brown enough, turn the heat up a little more. If it is too brown, turn your heat down a little. When done, remove from pan and stack on a plate. Pancakes can be kept warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve. Re-grease your griddle and continue with the rest of the batter until it is all gone. Serve with warm apple compote and/or real maple syrup and vegan butter, such as Earth Balance.

Recipe yields 4-6 pancakes

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Magic Sprinkles

Lately I've been putting this stuff on top of everything. It's tasty on just about every kind of pasta dish, including mac 'n' cheez. It makes pizza more magical, which is hard to do since pizza is the perfect food. It's salty and savory like parmesan, and comes pretty close to the real thing. The best part is it's super-easy to make, and it keeps nicely in a shaker alongside all your favorite condiments.

Vegan Parmesan Nut Cheese


1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dried italian seasoning (or small pinches of dry basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme & marjoram)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of paprika
several grinds of fresh pepper


Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly and fine. Sprinkle on everything in sight.

I baked some on top of this shells 'n' cashew cheez dish, then sprinkled more for good measure. It was delicious. These sprinkles would probably taste badass on kale chips too.