Anyone who’s ever tried to make candies knows it’s not the easiest thing. I remember the first time I tried to make chocolate molds I was infuriated that it would not set up or even freeze, and apparently it’s because I added milk while melting it! Who knew? It’s just a temperamental process involving high heat, the right amount of heat, and the right amount of fat. So, vegan toffee and vegan caramel? Challenge accepted.
Clearly, I did it! I couldn’t believe I actually pulled it off because 1. I did not have a candy thermometer and 2. I am awful at baking, at to me candy-making is part of baking. I was nervous enough about the cookie part, let alone this science experiment with sugar and butter. Here’s the recipe I used for the toffee, and yes, I just used vegan substitutes! It set up beautifully, but I will tell you it never got hard and I think that’s because it never got hot enough. It got close, but just not close enough. You want it to get hard, really hard–if it doesn’t, it’s hard to break it into shards, and that’s what you want in the cookie batter.
Here’s the recipe for the salted caramel sauce. Again, totally amazing, and I messed it up slightly again. That’s also because I used coconut cream instead of heavy cream in a pinch… really I’m happy with how it came out considering this was hard to orchestrate. You definitely want a friend handy to assist. To make it a glaze, just add two cups of powdered sugar and two tablespoons of almond milk.
Now this cookie batter I got the recipe from Two Peas, with these small changes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Smart Balance Light, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flax seed meal with 3 Tbsp warm water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups vegan toffee bits
The cookies that came out best were the ones I smooshed down 3/4 of the way through baking. The puffy ones were still delicious, but I clearly wanted flat cookie-cookies, not puffs. I don’t know why my cookies always puff up–maybe you guys can explain it to me.