In a large microwaveable bowl, heat the rice milk for 1 minute, 30 seconds at a time. If you are using a mixer, heat the milk in a measuring cup and transfer it to the mixing bowl. Add in the yeast and let it sit for 10 minutes until frothy.
Add in the sugar, eggs, and orange juice, and gently whisk to combine. Start adding in the flour one cup at a time mixing as you go. If you find the dough is coming together nicely after the 5th cup, then you can stop there. If it is still a little sticky, add the extra half cup of flour. Add in the salt in the last cup of flour and mix or knead until incorporated. Add in the Earth balance or margarine and mix again until incorporated evenly. Continue mixing or kneading for 5-6 minutes, you may have to sprinkle some flour on your work surface so that the dough doesnt stick. The dough is ready when it is no longer sticking to the surface and it is smooth and uniform throughout.
Place the dough back in the bowl used for mixing if you were kneading by hand. Pour 1 tsp oil around the dough and cover the bowl with a fresh tea towel. Leave it to rise for at least 1 hour or place in the fridge overnight.
Prepare the filling:
Combine the cookie butter, confectioners sugar, softened Earth Balance and vanilla extract in
a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
If you’re adding in the cookie option, place the cookies in a small Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Set aside.
After its doubled in size, allow the dough to come to room temperature if it was stored in the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, cut the dough evenly in half and roll one portion out into a rectangle about 12” x 16”.
Spread half the filling onto the dough leaving a 1 inch border. Sprinkle the crushed cookies on top of the filling.
Now starting from the long side, the side closest to you, start rolling the dough all the way up to the top border. It should now look like a log, like when you are making cinnamon buns, right before you cut them.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough vertically down the middle to create two long strands- This will get messy but its worth it!
Trim off the last ½ inch of the ends of the strands to make them even.
Pinch the two ends of the strands together and then twist one strand over the other until the babka is interwoven. Kinda like a braid but with only 2 strands. Pinch the other end of the dough to seal the twist together.
Spray a loaf pan with non stick spray and place the babka inside.
Repeat the above steps with the other half of babka dough.
Let the babkas rise for another hour until doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
Bake for 30 minutes.
While the babkas are baking, make the simple syrup.
Bring 1/4 cup water to a boil, add in 1/3 sugar and stir until it dissolves. Set aside.
Once the babkas come out of the oven, brush the simple syrup all over them, do not let them cool off first! The point is to brush them when they are piping hot.
Now you can let them cool.
Combine ½ cup confectioner sugar and 2 teaspoons of water in a small bowl or cup. Mix until the glaze forms and drizzle over babka.