Cheryl is now [nearly] dairy free, so we’re experimenting with a ton of vegan desserts. Don’t you for a second think all the vegan about to come atcha means we’re giving up all animal products…
This was my first stab at a recipe from one of our many new vegan books (thanks, ma!). I am NOT a baker. My strong distaste for following directions and measurements takes all the fun out of being in the kitchen. But when a sweet tooth hits, a sweet tooth hits and there are very few things I won’t do for a bite — including breaking out the measuring cups!
Recipe adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
Vegan Salted Caramel Pecan Bars
For the crust
2 cups all-purpose ﬂour (I actually used spelt — it’s all we had)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
A big pinch of salt
3/4 cup Earth Balance, slightly softened
For the topping
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup nondairy milk (I used vanilla coconut milk)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup organic pure maple syrup
1/3 cup agave
2 tablespoons melted Earth Balance
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/ 4 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Coarse salt for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13x2-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure the foil completely covers the sides of the pan, with about 2 inches folded outside over the edges. Spray the bottom and sides of the pan generously with nonstick cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the Earth Balance until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into the prepared baking pan and press down evenly and very firmly, making sure to press the mixture all the way to the edges of the pan. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes until firm and very lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and nondairy milk until foamy. Stir in the brown sugar, agave, maple syrup, melted Earth Balance, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Fold in the pecans and pour the mixture onto the crust and spread out evenly.
Return pan to oven and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until the filling is rapidly bubbling. Just out of the oven, lightly sprinkle with your choice of coarse salt. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Move to refrigerator to finish cooling and setting. Chill for an hour or so.
Slice ’em and serve ’em.
No one will ever know they’re vegan — I promise!