Vegan Raw Caramel Bars

This recipe is from Livekindly.com. It’s keto, vegan, raw, gluten-free! What?!? Yup! I made mine in a springform pan for easy release, then cut them up and froze 3/4 of them. They are so tasty!

Ingredients

    For the base:
  • 1 c raw organic cashews, soaked for an hour and drained
  • 6 organic medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 c organic shredded coconut 
  • Sprinkle of Himalayan pink rock salt
    For the caramel:
  • 1/2 c organic tahini
  • 1/2 c agave syrup
  • 1/4 c organic coconut oil or coconut butter (liquefied)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract l
  • Large pinch Salt
    For the chocolate topping:
  • 1/2 c cacao butter or coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp organic raw cacao
  • 1/2 tsp organic cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp organic dark agave syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Base: blend or process all base ingredients together, until a doughy texture is formed. If using a blender, make sure it’s a powerful, heavy duty blender to handle the nuts. Press into coconut-oil greased dish and put in the fridge.

Caramel: blend all caramel ingredients together except coconut oil. Once well blended into a thick, smooth consistency, blend in the coconut oil until combined (should only take 15 – 25 seconds or so). The texture should be very gooey now. Pour on top of the base immediately and put back into the fridge.

Chocolate topping: in a saucepan, gently melt the cacao butter OR coconut oil. Do not overheat or let it boil, as this destroys the nutrients. The cacao butter/ coconut oil should only be lukewarm, not at all hot. Once melted, take off the heat and sift in the powders. Stir until combined. Add the agave and vanilla and stir well. Immediately pour the chocolate over the caramel. Return dish to the fridge.

Wait a few hours for all the layers to set properly, cut into squares and store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Tart

This is from the NYT – it takes a bit of work, but it is totally worth it! I used coconut palm sugar and agave syrup instead of regular sugar and corn syrup.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE DOUGH:
½ c unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ c powdered sugar
¼ c unsweetened cocoa
1 large egg yolk
¾ tsp vanilla
1 ¼ c flour

FOR THE CARAMEL FILLING:
2 c sugar
½ c water
¼ c agave syrup
½ c butter
½ c heavy cream
2 tbsp creme fraiche
PInch of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
3 ½ ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate (70 to 85%), chopped
½ c heavy cream

Prepare chocolate dough:

In bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Beat until smooth. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until blended.

Stir flour into dough mixture. Beat on low speed until combined. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch tart pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line tart with parchment and fill with dried beans, rice or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, and bake until pastry is dry and set, another 10 to 15 minutes.

Prepare caramel filling:

In a large saucepan, bring sugar, water and agave syrup to a boil. Stir or swirl the pan occasionally, until mixture is a medium amber color, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat. Caramel will continue to cook and darken off of the heat. Carefully whisk in the butter, cream, creme fraiche and salt until smooth (mixture will bubble up). Pour hot caramel into tart, and allow to cool and set, at least 1 hour.

Prepare chocolate glaze:

Place chocolate in a bowl with cream. microwave on medium for 1 minute, stir, if chocolate is not melted enough, micorwave in 30 second intervals. Stir until smooth. Pour glaze over tart, tilting tart for even coverage.

Refrigerate until tart is set, at least one hour, then sprinkle with a few granules of fleur de sel. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Serves 8 – 10.

Bourbon Sea Salt Caramels

20131208-151801.jpg

This recipe is inspired by Bon Appetit – I made a couple changes to make it a little healthier. These caramels are divine! I chilled them and sprayed the knife with Pam to cut them. You can store them chilled in the fridge for a couple weeks, if you can resist them. You need a candy thermometer for this one!

Ingredients:
2 c coconut palm sugar or sugar
1/2 c agave syrup
14oz sweetened condensed milk
1/2 butter, cut into small pieces
2 TBSP bourbon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Flaky sea salt

Spray an 8×8 baking pan and line with parchment.

Bring sugars and syrup and 1/4 c water to a boil in a deep medium saucepan, over medium high heat. Stir occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes until deep amber.

Remove from heat – add butter and condensed milk, whisking until smooth. Clip on your candy thermometer and return pan to medium high heat, whisking until it reaches 240.

Remove from heat, whisk in salt and bourbon. Pour into prepared pan. Top with flaky salt. Cool completely then cut into small pieces.

Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart

20131129-044534.jpg

This is one of the desserts that is a labor of love and worth every minute of labor! I made this for turkey day and it was amazing. Thanks of fine cooking for the inspiration!

For the pumpkin seeds
Cooking spray
1-1/2 tsp agave syrup
3/4 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c pumpkin seeds

For the crust
6 oz flour, more as needed
6 TBSP fine cornmeal
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz. cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk

For the caramel
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1 oz. butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1 c heavy cream
1/4 c bourbon

For the filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 c brown sugar
2 large egg
2 large egg yolk
1 can (15 oz) canned pure pumpkin purée
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt
1 c half-and-half

Candy the pumpkin seeds
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment and lightly coat it with cooking spray.

Combine the corn syrup, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Add the pumpkin seeds, stir, and spread in a single layer on the prepared sheet. Bake, stirring halfway through, until golden-brown, about 7 minutes. Cool on a rack until crisp, about 5 minutes, and then break into small clusters.

Make the crust
Pulse the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

Combine the egg, egg yolk, and 1 Tbs. ice water in a small bowl. Add the egg mixture to the processor and pulse until the mixture just comes together, adding more water, 1 tsp at a time, as needed, up to 2 TBSP. Dump the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and use the wrap to help gather the dough into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a floured work surface with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 13-inch circle.

Carefully transfer the dough to a 9-inch springform pan, gently pressing it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan without stretching it. Use the rolling pin to cut the dough the goes over the edge of the pan. Prick the crust with a fork in 1 inch intervals. Line with aluminum foil and fill with dried ben of theCover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°. Bake until the edges are firm, about 15 minutes.

Carefully remove the foil and beans. Return the crust to the oven and bake, rotating the pan once and popping any bubbles with a toothpick, just until the bottom is firm, about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Leave the oven on.

Make the caramel
In a 2-quart saucepan, cook the brown sugar, butter, and salt over medium heat, stirring until the sugar melts and begins to darken around the edges, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the cream (some sugar will seize) and simmer, whisking occasionally, until smooth and thick enough that the whisk leaves the bottom of the pan visible, 7 to 9 minutes.

Whisk in the bourbon and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the whisk leaves the bottom of the pan visible again, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof measuring cup. Pour 1/3 c of the caramel over the bottom of the cooled crust and spread it evenly with a small offset spatula. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to set the caramel. (Leave the remaining caramel at room temperature.)

Make the filling and bake
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add the egg and then the egg yolk, beating until well combined. Add the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and salt and mix until thoroughly combined. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the half-and-half.

Slowly pour the filling into the crust. Bake until the filling has puffed slightly and its surface no longer appears wet, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack until the filling is completely cooled and firm, about 1 hour.

If the remaining caramel is no longer pourable, warm it in a microwave in 20-second bursts, whisking between bursts, until pourable, about 80 seconds total. Drizzle the remaining caramel over the pie and spread it evenly. Arrange the pumpkin seeds around the edge of the tart, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

To serve, run a thin knife around the edge of the tart and remove the side of the pan. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

Serves 10 – 12.

20131129-044614.jpg

Salt Caramel Brownies

20130517-191247.jpg

These brownies are from Cooking Light. All my favorite things – rich brownie with caramel and chocolate drizzle. Yum!

Brownies:
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c granulated sugar
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 TBSP butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Cooking spray

Topping:
1/4 c butter
1/4 packed brown sugar
3 1/2 TBSP evaporated fat-free milk, divided
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/8 tsp coarse sea

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through baking powder) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine 6 TBSP butter, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add butter mixture to flour mixture; stir to combine.

Scrape batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Melt 1/4 c butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 c brown sugar and 1 1/2 TBSP milk; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and powdered sugar; stir with a whisk until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cooled brownies. Let stand 20 minutes or until set.

Combine 2 tablespoons milk and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 45 seconds or until melted, stirring after 20 seconds. Stir just until smooth; drizzle over caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt; let stand until set. Cut into squares.

Caramel Pudding

20130407-173856.jpg

I love anything with caramel!! Last night we went out to dinner and had the most amazing caramel pudding so of course i had to try and make it.

2 c 2-percent milk
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 c sugar

In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 c of the milk with the cornstarch, vanilla and salt until smooth.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar with 1/8 cup plus 1 TBSP of water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until a deep amber caramel forms, about 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Very gradually whisk in the remaining 1 3/4 c of milk, 1/4 c at a time.

Whisk over moderate heat until the caramel has dissolved. Simmer over moderately low heat until the mixture thickens slightly and deepens in color, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Gradually whisk the cornstarch mixture into the caramel. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the pudding is very thick, about 1 minute. Scrape the pudding into four 1/2-cup ramekins and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Garnish with nut brittle, if desired.

Serves 4.

Caramel Cake

20130202-170809.jpg

Camel cake – yum! Found this on epicurous.com and it is a keeper. I swapped out coconut palm sugar for regular sugar – brown sugar would work too. I think it give it a bit more caramel flavor.

Ingredients:
2 c plus 2 TBSP flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 c coconut palm sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
1 c buttermilk

For caramel glaze:
1 c heavy cream
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1 TBSP agave syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Equipment: a candy thermometer
add ingredients to shopping list
Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan and line with a square of parchment paper, then butter parchment.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled). Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Make glaze:
Bring cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil until glaze registers 210 to 212°F on thermometer, 7 – 10 minutes, then stir in vanilla.

Put rack with cake in a shallow baking pan and pour hot glaze over top of cake, allowing it to run down sides. Cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

Serves 16.