While the nerves before a college visit are no fun, the free T shirt and lunch are worth it.
That’s not the only selling points, I KNOW, but … they’re legit.
I’m not a stresser outer, but I’m a need-to-be-prepared person, and when I don’t feel prepared, I stuff my face with chocolate chips and caramel covered pecans because that’s obviously the only way to deal with these sorts of things.
When it comes to future decisions, classes, credits, and dorms are complicated. But when it comes to chocolate, pecans, and caramel, I’ve got you covered so you don’t have to pick! You can have all three in this decadent dessert AND it’s vegan.
The crust is like shortbread and can be mixed up in the pan so you don’t have to dirty another bowl. Then you just layer the pecans and chocolate chips over the crust before pouring my favorite homemade caramel sauce over all of it. The caramel sauce has no butter or oil in it – it’s just almond milk, brown sugar, and a little bit of pure maple syrup. It boils and simmers down to the perfect caramel consistency which replaces the corn syrup in this pecan pie version.
If you think serving a vegan dessert at Thanksgiving is ludicrous, just check out how rich and gooey and amazing these bars are. Believe me, NO ONE will ask if it’s made with better for you ingredients. No, this is not low fat 🙂 but it is vegan and made with healthy fats like coconut oil and nuts.
PS I had an AMAZING college visit today. So many of my questions were answered and I am beyond excited to go to school there next year!
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 8 ounces pecan halves
- 1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
- 1 cup almond milk
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Whisk almond milk, sugar, and pure maple syrup in a medium pot over high heat until boiling. Lower heat to a simmer and stir somewhat frequently while preparing the crust and filling.
- Mix all the crust ingredients in a 8x8 pan. Press down firmly.
- Filling - Evenly sprinkle the pecans.
- Evenly sprinkle with the chocolate chips; set pan aside.
- Once the caramel on the stove has thickened (it doesn't have to be exact caramel consistency because it will thicken up while baking) remove from stove and pour over pecans and chocolate chips.
- Place pan on a cookie sheet (as insurance against overflow) and bake for about 30 to 32 minutes, or until caramel is bubbling vigorously around edges, with bubbling to a lesser degree in center.
- Allow bars to cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 3 hours, or overnight (cover with foil) before serving. I highly recommend refrigerating.