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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Acadian Cinnamon Swirls (Vegan)

Inspiration:  Pets de soeur - a French Canadian treat.

I have an old binder that is filled with recipes that I have collected over the years. Some have been torn out of magazines and some have been generously shared by friends and family.  Every once in a while I will pull out to take a look and, although some of the recipes date back over 20 years, they always serve as great inspiration.

This recipe for cinnamon swirls or "pets de soeurs" as they are known in French, was given to me and even though I can't be certain of whose recipe it was, I'm pretty sure it was a family member.  Originally created using the leftover trimmings of pie crust dough, they became a staple in the French Canadian culture during the Holidays when tourtières (meat pies) were being prepared.     

Apparently the origin of the name comes from a French Canadian expression ''faire ça, c'est un pet'' meaning that they are very easy to make, which they are.  As they were often served to clergymen by nuns working in the Presbyteries, the name ''Pets de soeurs'' stuck and has been with us ever since.  Here is my vegan version.  Enjoyed mostly for breakfast in our family, I hope you too will enjoy!

Acadian Cinnamon Swirls:  Makes 24 large swirls

How to make them:

  • 3 cups (360g) of white all purpose flour
  • 6t of baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) of vegan margarine or butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (45g) of brown sugar, packed
  • 1t of vanilla paste or extract
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) of non dairy milk of your choice (I used rice milk)
For the swirl flavour base:
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) of vegan butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (135g) of brown sugar
  • 3T (45ml) of ground cinnamon

Start by placing the flour (3 cups - 360g), the baking powder (6t) and the salt in a large measuring cut or bowl.  Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl or the bowl of you mixer, cream the vegan butter (1/2 cup - 120ml) with the brown sugar (1/4 cup - 45g) and the vanilla paste or extract (1t).

Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter in thirds, alternating with the non-dairy milk (3/4 cup - 180ml), blending well after each addition.

Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for about 1 minute on a lightly floured surface until smooth.  Cover with plastic and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F  (200ºC).

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, to form a square measuring about 15'' X 15'' (39cm X 39cm). It should be about as thick as what you would use for a pie crust. If the dough splits or breaks at any point, pinch it back together with your fingers.  

Spread an even layer of the softened vegan butter (1/3 cup - 80ml) over the entire surface of the dough.

Cover with the brown sugar (3/4 cup - 135g) followed by the cinnamon (3T - 45ml).  Gently pat it down.  

Roll the dough to form a cylinder.  

Cut 1/2 inch (1.2cm) slices and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, turning the baking sheet once to ensure even colouring.

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