Happy Fasnacht Day!

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If anyone is reading, hellooooo (said in my best Jerry Seinfeld belly button speech, of course)!
My pancakes last week were pretty disappointing.. I’m not sure if they would be worth mentioning. I took a few sad-looking pictures, and they were a bit off-putting. They tasted yummy, but the pictures didn’t really do them justice, and I figured I would wait to post anything until they looked as appetizing as they tasted. The topping this time around was peaches and “cream” so, you have that to look forward to reading about once I finally get it down!

A friend of mine and I have been quite busy with our vegan cooking adventures. We made Eggplant Parmesans from the Oh She Glows blog over the weekend, and they were the best I have ever tasted! Don’t you hate when you get a vegetable doused in so much oil you feel guilty for eating a normally super healthy veggie? I know I do, and her eggplant parm was baked to a crispy perfection. The week before that we made Super Bowl treats with her recipe of baked onion rings that were also quite num nums. I whipped together my own batch of buffalo dip (John was having withdrawals from Buffalo Chicken dip that used to be a weekly splurge), and a veganized taco dip. We were so antsy to get eating that neither my friend or I remembered to take pictures of the deliciousness… It’s all right though, I told her and the boys that it just means we will have to make it all over again to eat! No one could contest to that 😉

This same friend was having a craving for fasnachts yesterday (Fat Tuesday). I grew up in California, and I moved to the East coast a couple of years ago. Prior to moving here I had never celebrated Fat Tuesday or heard of anything called a Fasnacht. John made it very clear during our first year of dating that fasnachts were very important in securing your good luck throughout the year and ever since there have been fasnachts to be eaten during this time of the year. Last year was a mess trying to create a sugar free adaptation…and when my friend requested a vegan version this year I knew I would not be bested by anything called a “fasnacht” ever again! I went on a mission to find a recipe, and you wouldn’t believe how challenging it was to find one. I ended up modifying a plain ol’ fasnacht recipe because it seemed easy enough to convert it over to a vegan version. Thankfully, I was right and they turned out wonderful! They are so simple to make and very delicious, I highly recommend giving it a try 🙂 If you bake them they are not all that bad for you at all!

 Vegan Fasnachts
*Adapted from here: Original Fasnacht Recipe
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup soymilk (I used Edensoy, but I will be testing unsweetened almond milk out next week)
2 packets of yeast (I Used Hodgson Mills rapid rise)
1/4 cup + a sprinkle for the milk/yeast mixture dry sweetener (I Used coconut palm sugar)
1/2 cup warm mashed potato
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Chocolate Glaze
1/2 Cup non-dairy chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil

For the fasnachts:
1.) Sprinkle yeast over warm non-dairy milk, add a pinch of sugar and set aside for 5 minutes allowing yeast to grow.
2.) Combine flour, potatoes, salt and sugar. Add the milk/yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Mix by hand or with the dough hook attachment of your mixture for 3 minutes. (I used my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer with the dough hook, and it worked perfectly!).
3.) Turn the dough out on a floured bowl and knead for a for minutes until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky.
4.) Roll dough out to 1/2 inch thick and cut the donuts. You can cut a square donut (traditional) or use a glass and cut one donut and use a shot glass to cut the hole. (I used my pizza cutter, and I made 16 smaller rectangle-shaped fasnachts).
5.) Place the cut donuts on a floured cookie sheet, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 30-40 minutes.
6.) Heat a half inch of oil in a large skillet or electric fry pan. (heat to about 360 degrees). Slide donuts in and fry for about 2 minutes, turn and finish cooking until golden brown. This was a little tricky for me.. I think since I made my fasnachts a bit smaller than the original recipe instructed I only needed to cook mine for about a minute and a half total in the oil. As you can see below, my first batch were a little too dark.. tasty none the less!
7.) Remove donuts to rack to drain and cool slightly. Toss with powdered sugar or glaze with the following recipe.
*Alternatively, you can bake these! I did an experiment of baking 6 of these delicious puffs of dough, and John actually preferred them the healthier way (wow!). To bake them I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees, placed them on a lined cookie sheet, and let them bake until they were brown on top (this was about 12 minutes for me). 

For the chocolate glaze:
1.) Begin to melt the chocolate chips and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2.) Once about 2/3 of the chocolate is melted turn off the heat, and continue to stir until all of the chocolate is melted.
3.) Dip your fasnachts into the chocolate glaze top side down and then allow to rest for as long as you can manage!Image

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