Since there are a few vegans at my work, it give me plenty of practice on my vegan baking. Whenever I make something now, I typically try to make the vegan version as well. So, when I made Carmelitas, I of course had to also make Vegan Carmelitas. Although I personally did not find these to be as AMAZING as the non-vegan version, they were stil pretty darn good. Also, it was fun for me to experiment with vegan baking. These were approved by both vegans and non vegans at my workplace, so you should give them a shot. For the vegan version, I only made an 8×8 tray of them.
For these you will need:
- 2 Earth Balance Buttery sticks softened and divided
- 3/4 cup vegan brown sugar***
- 1 cup unbleached flour***
- 1 cup of oats
- 1 tsp baking soda***
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 oz carob chips
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups white sugar***
To make these:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease and 8×8 Pyrex dish
2. Combine the white sugar and agave nectar in a small saucepan. ]Stirring constantly, bring to boil, then turn down to low heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Combine 2 tbsp of buttery sticks, salt, and the coconut milk together in a glass measuring cup. Slowly add the mixture into the saucepan. Be carefully, because it wil bubble up. Stir until smooth (about 5 minutes). Set this aside as it will thicken up while it cools down. I stuck mine in the freezer for about 5 minutes to help cool/thicken.
3. Cream together buttery sticks and brown sugar.
4. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
5. Add flour mixture to brown sugar mixture and hand stir until combined.
6. Pour half the mixture into the greased 8×8 casserole and bake for 10 minutes.
7. After crust is set, remove from the oven and sprinkle carob chips evenly over the crust.
8. Pour caramel sauce over the top.
9. Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the top and stick back into the oven.
10. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool completely before cutting. I put mine into the freezer for an hour to save time.
***I find it extremely important to fully commit yourself to vegan baking. If you are going to make something vegan, don’t skimp out. Yes, most vegans do not pay attention to sugar, or baking soda, but you might as well go all out and make sure that every part of your delicious treat is vegan. It is a challenge and it is fun to know that you made something that could be certified ‘Vegan.’ That being said I purchased all the vegan ingredients at Whole Foods as it is the place most likely to have everything you need.
Why is sugar not considered ‘vegan?’ This is because during the filtration process, they sometimes use animal bone to break down and granulate the sugar. Why is baking soda not considered vegan? PETA has listed Arm and Hammer as a company that tests baking soda on animals. So, this being said although these ingredients do not contain any animal by products, they are not cruelty-free. So, know the vegans you are baking for, if they are not concerned with this type of stuff, then use whatever ingredients you wish to use, but if you are making a truly vegan dessert, you might as well go all out and make the real thing. That is my spiel. Thanks!!