Salted Caramel Bars

Something I do… when I’m bored at home and decide I want a sweet treat but am too lazy to go out and buy something, I will go through my recipe books until I find something I can make with whatever I have in my kitchen. This is often how I find some of my best recipes  sometimes the simpler the better!

So, here’s what I found this time. Vegan salted caramel bars. You’re welcome.

Salted Caramel Bars | kalelovesquinoa.com

These ones I made are not gluten free, mainly because I’d run out of gluten free flour, and like I said the aim of the game was to not leave my cozy apartment... But it’d  be real easy to make these GF. Just sub the flour for 1 cup gluten free flour mix (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill) and 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum. Note that your baking time might change a bit, so just keep an eye on them.

Salted Caramel Bars
Prep Time: Eh
Makes approx 16 bars… depending on how many get eaten in preparation

What you need:

For the crust:
1 cup all purpose flour*
1/2 cup chilled vegan margarine, I use Earth Balance
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the caramel:
1 cup packed brown sugar, I used dark because that’s all I had but light would work too
1/4 cup vegan margarine, I use Earth Balance
4 tsp soy, almond or rice milk, I used almond milk but I bet coconut would be great

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy free)
sea salt for sprinkling, best to use a grinder so you get big chunky flakes of sea salt!

What you do:

Let’s make the shortbread:

Salted Caramel Bars prep - kalelovesqunioa

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line an 8 inch square pan with foil or parchment paper. Make sure it’s enough so that it overhangs on the edges – this will make it easier to remove from the pan.
  3. In a food processor, pulse flour, Earth Balance, powdered sugar and cinnamon until nice and crumbly.
  4. Press into your foil covered pan and bake for 18 – 20 mins or until edges golden.
  5. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 -15 mins  then chill in the fridge for 30 mins or so.

Caramel Time!

  1. Note: Make sure you’re shortbread is cooled and ready for the caramel topping before starting this step.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat brown sugar, Earth Balance and nondairy milk over medium heat until combined, stirring frequently.
  3. Once mixture comes together, bring temperature up to medium high for 1 – 2 mins until mixture begins to boil and the bubbles move into the center.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 mins.
  5. Once cooled, pour caramel over chilled shortbread crust. Let cool for 10 mins and then pop back in the fridge to cool for 30 mins or so.

Chocolate Layer:

  1. When your caramel shortbread goodness is ready for the chocolate, melt chocolate in a double broiler or just in the microwave. Tip: If you’re doing this in the microwave, microwave in 30 -40 second increments. Keep an eye on the chocolate and pause to stir often. Don’t burn it!
  2. Spread chocolate over top of the caramel layer and use a spoon/spatula to even things out a bit.
  3. Sprinkle with your sea salt and return to the fridge until the chocolate has hardened… and be patient!
  4. Once the chocolate has hardened, remove bar from the pan using the foil and remove foil. Cut into whatever sizes you want and enjoy. Oh how you’ll enjoy!

Who made these? Pretty easy right? The hardest part for me was waiting until everything had cooled down 🙂 It’d be easy to sprinkle some chopped nuts on top of these to make them even tastier.

Adapted from Chloe’s Kitchen recipe.

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