This recipe came as the result of a botched attempt (see above) at making something that turned into something infinitely better as a result.
It all started with a clothing swap and the need to bring a tasty treat. It ended with cookie carnage, fab new (to me) clothing, and a cookie resurrection. Plus, a bit of smartassery and anxiety thrown in for good measure.
(Baking is so not my thing.)
The main problem? Trying to make vegan caramel chews without any of the proper ingredients. You know, things like candy thermometers, light corn syrup, and MimicCreme (which I just learned is a thing).
Of course my initial attempt at making vegan caramel chews wasn’t a total fail. It turned into a delicious caramel sauce. Which would have been great, except for the fact that all of the recipes I found online called for chewy caramel candy.
In the end, I went back to a tried a true caramel (that you may remember from the salted caramel hot chocolate mix) and went on my merry way.
And let me just say that this caramel was the exact right choice.
And the cookies? Well, they were the exact right choice, too. They satisfy in ways that a cookie has never satisfied me before. They are chewy, and sweet, with a hint of saltiness added for balance. Quite simply put, they are exactly amazing.
And, frankly, they are making me wonder about things like “Will my pants button in the morning?” or “Is it a bad idea to have three cookies for breakfast, and then another three again for lunch?” or “Should I make another batch and freeze them so that I always have them on hand?!”
They even have other people wondering similar things.
So go ahead and make yourself a batch. Your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and complete strangers will thank you. Profusely. Over and over and over again.
1 hr, 30 Prep Time
30 minCook Time
2 hrTotal Time
- 1 1/4 cup (organic) sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) earth balance, room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup caramel powder
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups white whole wheat or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (dairy-free) chocolate chips
- sea salt
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- Heat sugar in a large pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to keep from burning.
- Once the sugar is completely melted, carefully add the vanilla. (It may sizzle, that’s okay.)
- Stir the caramel until smooth again, and remove from heat.
- Immediately pour the melted sugar onto the lined baking sheet, allowing it to spread without touching it.
- Set aside and let the caramel harden, at least 1 hour.
- When caramel has cooled to room temperature, use the back of a large spoon and tap the caramel several times to break it into small pieces.
- Put pieces in a food processor or Cuisinart and pulse until the caramel turns into a fine powder.
- Line an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper (you can use the parchment paper used above when making the caramel). Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer cream the earth balance, brown sugar and caramel powder together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color.
- Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Chill for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Roll 1 tbs of dough into ball and drop onto cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just turning golden brown around the edges.
- Remove and let cool for 3-5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to cooling rack.
- Continue until all the dough is gone and you have about 3 dozen cookies.
Nightshade Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free.