Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan product]

Vegan Rocky Road Bars
rocky road bars

I'm so thankful for the Dandies marshmallows that I got from Natalie the other week, because otherwise, these awesome rocky road bars would not have made their appearance at the bake sale! Having vegan marshmallows is seriously amazing... . and they're just as good as the gelatin kind! Infact, they're superior because they're cruelty-free. I feel like there is nothing that won't (and can't) eventually be successfully veganized.

rocky road bars

The recipe I used is from Hannah Kaminsky's Bittersweet blog. There are three different parts to it- the base, the caramel layer, and the rocky topping, so it's a bit of a process to get it all together, but it's definitely worth it. These bars were really popular at the sale and I wish I had made more!

{ VEGAN ROCkY ROAd BARS }
(adapted from the Bittersweet blog)

Base Layer
1/2 cup non-dairy butter (I used 'Better than Butter')
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup all purpose
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts and almonds)

Vegan Caramel Sauce Layer (adapted from here)
1/2 cup soy milk
3 Tbs brown rice syrup
1 Tbs agave syrup
1-2 Tbs water
3/4 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 Tbs non dairy butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Rocky Topping
1/2 cup of reserved crumbly base layer
1/3 cup chopped mixed nuts
1 cup of vegan marshmallows (chopped or kept whole)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.

Using a mixer, cream the non-dairy butter and sugar. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and chopped nuts, and combine to get a crumbly mixture. Scoop out 1/2 cup and set aside for the topping. Dump the rest into your prepared pan and press it in with your fingers so that it fully covers the bottom in a level layer. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until lightly browned around the edges.

Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce. Combine the soy milk, brown rice syrup, and agave syrup in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until boiling, wisking well to prevent sticking. Mixture will thicken as it boils, about 10 minutes. Mix water and cornstarch in small bowl to make a slurry. Add to hot mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly and smoothing out any lumps. Remove from heat and stir in vegan margarine and vanilla extract. Allow to cool before using.

Once the base layer is baked, pour the caramel over the warm bars and spread to cover with a spatula. If your caramel is a bit too firm to spread, microwave it for a few seconds before pouring it on. Over the caramel layer, evenly sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup of the base mixture, nuts, marshmallows, and chocolate chunks. Bake for another 15 – 20 minutes, until the marshmallows are puffy and nicely browned. Let cool to room temperature, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

rocky road bars

Side notes: I accidentally over-baked the marshmallows so they melted and spread out a bit tooo much... That's why they're rather flat, rather than round and poofy. Next time, I'll keep a closer eye on them!

rocky road bars

Well, I still have more than half a bag of the marshmallows left for more baking experiments. I'm thinking of making a vegan version of those popular Korean choco-pies that I ate so many of as a kid. Oh, and I wanna go camping and have vegan s'mores! Ah, the possibilities~~