Okay, I love Paula Deen. Everything she cooks is filled with sticks and sticks of butter and other things that are very bad for you. The gym I used to belong to would show the Food Network on some of their tvs and I totally watched Paula make pies while using the stairclimber. But people complained and looking at pies while exercising became a big, fat memory.
I’ve never baked anything before that was vegan that didn’t come from a recipe that told me specifically that it was vegan and that the dairy/egg substitutions that it suggested would work and that it wasn’t going to taste totally gross. Well, until now. I wanted to try making something vegan all by myself and see how it would come out. So I picked a Paula Deen recipe. Something easy, that didn’t have a lot of ingredients. I decided to make her Brown Sugar Chewies.
The only things I had to replace were half a stick of butter and an egg. Easy-peasy. For butter I used soy margarine. For the egg, well, there are lots of choices. I was going to use flax meal with water, but I decided that it might taste weird so I went with cornstarch and water instead.
These bars are super quick to throw together, and I imagine they’d double well to make in a 9×13″ pan.
1/4 cup non-dairy margarine
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp. water
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup chopped pecans
I was really super organized when I made these. Usually, I’m scrambling around looking for ingredients I’ve forgotten about, but I think it was just the fact that there’s hardly anything to these that just made it all flow. Before I started anything, I mixed the cornstarch and the water in a little bowl and set it aside. I also mixed the flour and the baking powder together in another bowl and set that aside too. I got those things set and preheated my oven to 350F.
So put the butter in a pot and melt it on the stove. Once it’s melted, add the brown sugar and stir until it’s all moistened. Then add your cornstarch egg! Mix that up all good.
Okay, mix in your flour and baking powder now, and stir it all up until everything’s nice and combined. Last, stir in the vanilla and pecans. So easy!
To bake it, I used a 8×8″ pan sprayed with cooking spray. Or you could lightly oil it or use margarine or whatever you like to do. Then I dumped in the batter and spread it out with my hands, because it was kind of sticky and a spatula wasn’t working. My hands were clean. I swear!
Put the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool, cut into bars, and devour.
To be honest, I didn’t wait until they were cool before I ate one. When warm, they were crusty on top and ooey-gooey in the middle. They tasted almost like a caramel brownie. Once they were cooled, I think they tasted more like a caramel candy. Not hard or chewy or anything, but they did have a very melty-in-the-mouth kind of consistency.
I took some to Bret and he ate five of them in under 24 hours, so I think maybe I was successful. Now I feel more daring and am going to try something a little more challenging.