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Caramel Nut Bars

 Katie Marggraf of Sweet Pea Baking Co. in Portland, OR shows us one of their most popular menu items. These bars are to die for.

Caramel Nut Bars

Crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup chilled Earth Balance Buttery Sticks

Caramel Sauce
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegan butter (margarine such as Earth Balance)
2 tablespoons soymilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 cups salted mixed nuts (whole or halved, not chopped or slivered)

1. Preheat oven to 375Ëš. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and brown sugar for the crust. Add the butter in one-inch chunks and cut in with a pastry cutter until coarse crumbs form. It will be very dry and sandy. Pour it all into the baking pan and spread out evenly. Press down firmly with your hands. Place in preheated oven and bake for 15-22 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
3. While the crust is baking, start your caramel sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and 1/2 c flour. In a small saucepot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. As soon as it starts to boil, add the sugar/flour mixture and whisk in. Reduce the heat to medium and slowly boil for 5-6 minutes. Stir only occasionally, to scrape the bottom and sides. The liquid should thicken a bit. Remove from heat and whisk in the salt, butter, soymilk, vanilla and tablespoon of flour.
4. Pour caramel sauce over the prepared crust and smooth out with a spatula. Sprinkle the nuts evenly over the top and put back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove and let cool completely before cutting.


Copyright © 2008 Katie Marggraf

 

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