Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Speculoos Caramel Cookie Bars

I got my holiday gift a little early this year. My partner and I are both pretty impatient when it comes to surprises, so we exchanged presents on Monday. I sponsored a chicken for a year in his name at Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary, which I thought was pretty neat. However, I got outdone! He surprised me with a pistachio KitchenAid standing mixer! I have been wistfully staring at pictures of this mixer on their website for many months now. I couldn't believe that it was finally mine! After grinning incessantly and taking a few photos, I decided it was time to put it to use making him something extravagant.


I had seen this recipe on Seitan is My Motor earlier this month and knew it wouldn't be long before I cracked open my second jar of Speculoos spread to attempt it. I have made a dulce de leche before, but this time something went wrong. My caramel never firmed up even though I cooked it for quite a while. In attempts of saving it, I threw in some agar. This made it thicker so that it was no longer a liquid, but it gave it the texture of a custard. I knew that it was going to be too thin for successfully cutting the bars, but I used it anyways.
I really enjoyed the cookie crust from this recipe. It was firm and not too sweet, which balances the super sweet cookie butter layer. I melted two teaspoons of coconut oil into the dark chocolate I used for the top layer, and spread it with an offset spatula.

leaves and flours vegan speculoos caramel cookie barsleaves and flours vegan speculoos caramel cookie bars

All in all, my bars were a mess because of my caramel error. But I will definitely attempt these again. They remind me of a Twix bar with a subtle hint of cinnamon. In fact, next time I might try the caramel from this vegan Twix bar recipe. I might also try using the 'dulce sin leche' recipe from VCTOTW, which uses brown rice syrup as a main ingredient.

leaves and flours vegan speculoos caramel cookie barsleaves and flours vegan speculoos caramel cookie bars

Sometimes it's good to have a reminder that baking is a trial and error process. At least I have a beautiful mixer now! Did you ask for kitchen or baking supplies for the holidays? I think I have a never ending list of things I would love to have.

5 comments:

  1. oh yay! congratulation on the mixer! i am sure the chicken and your partner like their gift a lot too!
    i just want to be able to bake enough to have a bake sale and then donate all of it! lets see if that wish becomes a reality.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love doing bake sales! I use to do bake sales for my college animal rights group and donate the money to Vegan Outreach. I miss those days.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am sorry you had problems with the dulche de leche. If you want to try the recipe again, you could cook the caramel at a higher temperature. Or place it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. That might help, too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. i am so happy (and jealous) for you! i have been wanting a mixer for such a long time (duh). i feel like i have a super long baking wish list, too, but my lack of any extra room is really keeping me from purchasing anything. however, i am REALLY wanting a donut pan. and also one of those vintage cast iron corn cakes pan. and a dehydrator always and forever.

    i could go on & on & on. . .

    ReplyDelete
  5. that mixer will change your life! i have a red one and i have been obsessed with it for 2 years already! so amazing.

    ReplyDelete