Salted caramel filled cookies

Salted caramel is one of my very favourite things so when I was approached to create a bespoke recipe using a vegan salted caramel sauce from Bad Brownie company I jumped at the chance. What better way to get the creative juices flowing than having a delicious new product to use as a starting point for inspiration?

***Paid partnership with the Bad Brownie, featuring their vegan salted caramel sauce***. I receive many offers for collaboration but will only accept those that fit the ethos of Lucy’s Friendly Foods, so most get turned down. This sauce is Free From all the allergens we avoid and so I have welcomed working with the Bad Brownie Company***

I tend to make my own caramel sauce, and you can find my recipe here: homemade caramel sauce recipe, but this very thick and sticky salted caramel sauce from the Bad Brownie Company is a really handy jar to have in your store cupboard if you don’t want to make it. This sauce can be purchased through Bad Brownie’s vegan brownie page.

It’s free from the allergens we avoid and is clearly marketed as vegan, and what is even better is that it’s really rather delicious, far tastier than other shelf-ready brands I’ve tried. I’m thinking it will be a really handy addition to the larder when you want to add a swirl to a cheesecake, or drizzle over some brownies.

Now to come up with a recipe using it… I first thought of making a caramel cake but I felt a bit non-plussed by the idea, it just wasn’t exciting enough. So, thinking cap back on… what works extremely well with caramel? Well, chocolate of course! I could have made some filled chocolates, but do many other people actually spend their time at home make handmade chocolates? I can’t say i do it that often myself.

My thoughts wandered to those caramel filled waffles you see in coffee shops, how about some kind of caramel filled cookie? A deep, dark cocoa-rich cookie with a caramel filling perhaps? Like a caramel filled Oreo type cookie? It turns out thick gooey caramel sauce sandwiched between two slightly bitter crisp chocolate cookies is very pleasing match. Seek out this wonderful caramel sauce and give it a go.

One thing to be aware of is that unless you eat these caramel filled cookies right away, the sauce – as it warms to room temperature – will start to ooze out. No biggie, but it will make them a bit messy! So, if you want to keep the cookies for a few days I’d recommend the my alternative cream filling that has a wonderful dollop of caramel goodness in the middle, then you really do get the best of both worlds.

Salted Caramel Stuffed Cookies

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes approx. 24 sandwich biscuits

100g hard vegetable fat (I use Trex)

180g caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

100ml dairy-free milk

240g plain flour

70g cocoa powder

2 tsp cornflour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Filling:

60g vegetable fat

60g dairy-free spread

350g icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Salted caramel sauce

1.     Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

2.     Cream together the vegetable fat and sugar. When fluffy, add the dairy-free milk and vanilla. Mix well. If it looks like it’s split add a couple of tbsp of flour to the mix

3.     Sift in the remaining ingredients and bring together to a firm-ish dough.

4.     Place half on a sheet of baking paper, place more paper on top and roll out to 1/4-1/2cm thickness. Cut out rounds with a cookie cutter and remove the ‘in between bits’. Transfer to a lined baking sheet.

5.     Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on the tray for five minutes before moving to a wire rack.

6.     Repeat with remaining mixture until it’s all be used up.

7.     Meanwhile, make the filling. Whisk together the vegetable fat and dairy-free spread. Add the vanilla.

8.     Add the icing sugar in 1/2 cup measurements, until fully incorporated. It may look like breadcrumbs, so squeeze together to form a stiff paste.

9.     Either, sandwich 1 tsp salted caramel sauce between two cookies, or

10. Roll out large grape size balls of filling and press onto a cookie, make a hollow in the centre of the filling and fill with ½ tsp salted caramel sauce. Squish another cookie on top.

11. These cookies keep well for a few days in a sealed container.

As mentioned, I really don’t often accept collaborations unless I believe in a product. I also have a firm stance on click-through adverts which I never accept as they spoil they experience of browsing for me. This was one collaboration I was happy to be part of, it’s a great product and a brand I can believe in.

Salted Caramel Victoria Sponge Cake

Victoria sponge cake is surely the most appropriate traditional summertime cake. It’s the very essence of tea time, taken under the shade of an apple tree on a warm Summer afternoon, maybe along with some scones and cup of tea in fine china cups!

I’ve found it quite a journey to develop the perfect Victoria sponge recipe, for some reason it has been so much harder than a chocolate cake. Sometimes the texture is a bit too rubbery/bouncy or the flavour not quite right. However finally thanks to some gratefully received input from a reader and his mother in law, the a pretty fine egg and dairy-free Victoria sponge is here. It’s always such a delight to me when I feel I have developed a great ‘friendly’ alternative to a classic staple. I feel like I’m finally hitting my ‘brief’ from the outset of this journey, which is about enabling everyone to enjoy the same things. This cake would make an awesome birthday cake if chocolate isn’t your cup of [English] tea.

This sponge has a wonderful crumb, perfect for a layer cake and the addition of custard powder adds an additional welcome vanilla hit. Custard powder – that’s the tip I was given and wouldn’t have thought of myself.

This would’ve been perfect as a traditional jam filled sponge cake, but since my children aren’t very keen on jam I turned this into a salted caramel sponge cake with a Lotus spread drizzle and salted caramel buttercream. A version I highly recommend 🙂

Salted Caramel Victoria Sponge Cake

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, can be soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes one sandwich cake

370g self-raising flour

2 tbsps Birds custard powder

220g caster sugar

1 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

290ml dairy-free milk

2 tbsps dairy-free yogurt

100g dairy-free margarine, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 5. Grease and line 2 20cm sandwich tins
  2. Sift together the flour, custard powder, bicarb and salt
  3. Stir in the sugar
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the dairy-free milk, melted dairy-free margarine, yogurt and vanilla.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix gently until well combined.
  6. Pour into the cake tins and bake for 30 minutes, until a knife comes out clean
  7. Cool in the cake tins.

Filling, enough to fill one cake:

  • Make the buttercream by whisking together 1tbsp Trex, 1/4 cup dairy-free margarine, 1 cup sifted icing sugar [use Sugar and Crumbs salted caramel icing sugar if possible] and 1 tbsp dairy-free milk.
  • (if you can’t find flavoured icing sugar use normal but add 1 tsp caramel essence instead)
  • Make the caramel drizzle by combining 2 tbsp Lotus caramelised biscoff spread with 1 tbsp dairy-free milk
  • spread the buttercream over one of the sponges, top with the Lotus drizzle. Place the top layer on the cake and dust with a generous layer of icing sugar

Salted Caramel Sticky Buns

Imagine a cinnamon bun, but better? Difficult? Yes. Impossible? NO way, not when you’ve tasted these stunning salted caramel sticky buns.

These salted caramel sticky bun made out of cinnamon swirl buns so you get all the benefits of a deliciously spicy swirl bun which is then cooked in a lake of salted caramel, you can’t get much more exciting than that! Not only are these buns the epitome of luxury and comfort at the same time, they also reheat wonderfully to give the perfect winter pudding or snack. Honestly, you must try them, you’re life will not be complete until you have 🙃

Salted Caramel Sticky Buns

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes 14

250-300ml dairy-free milk, I used Oatly

3 tbsp dairy-free margarine, such as Pure

400g plain flour

2 tsp dried yeast

50g or 1/4 cup caster sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp cornflour

For the filling:

1/2 cup soft brown sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 tbsp dairy-free margarine

For the salted caramel:

1/2 cup dairy-free margarine

1 cup soft dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp sea salt

  1. Melt the margarine and milk together – you want it to be warm and melted but not hot
  2. In a bowl mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, cornflour and salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk mix
  3. Bring together to a soft dough and knead until its smooth and bounces back when poked
  4. Cover and let double in size
  5. While waiting for the dough to prove, make the caramel. Melt together the sugar, margarine and salt until the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Grease two cake tins, pour the caramel into each tin so the bottom is entire covered.
  7. Knock back the dough and roll out to a large rectangle
  8. Smear on the dairy-free margarine. Sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon, then roll up tightly into a long sausage
  9. Cut into 14 even slices. Place 7 in each caramel lined cake tin, 6 in a circle and 1 in the middle.
  10. Cover and leave to rise again for another half an hour
  11. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4/375 degrees F
  12. Bake for 20-30 minutes until risen, golden and cooked through. They’ll look like traditional cinnamon swirls at this stage
  13. Now comes the magic! Invert onto a plate, being careful not to get caramel on yourself. Serve warm.
  14. To reheat: place in a warm oven for 5-10 minutes or microwave for 1 minute

 

Chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream

Chocolate and salted caramel cupcakes, dairy-free, egg-free

Is there any more delicious and tempting combination than chocolate and salted caramel? The flecks of saltiness in sticky sweet caramel paired with irresistible chocolate is a match made in heaven.

I haven’t made any cupcakes for a while but they’re always so tempting, especially to the younger members of the family, so they’re the perfect vehicle for trying out flavour combinations. The base is a simple rich chocolate sponge. The buttercream is flavoured with salted caramel – for this you have three options – caramel essence and a pinch of salt, a caramel sauce and pinch of salt drizzled over the buttercream, or as I did using Sugar and Crumbs delicious naturally flavoured icing sugars. Which ever you choose, the end result with certainly be irresistible! I added a sprinkle of honeycomb pieces for added sweet crunch.

Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan salted caramel and chocolate cupcakes

makes 18

350g self-raising flour

200g caster sugar

50g cocoa powder

200ml sunflower oil

300ml dairy-free milk

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 5
  2. Mix together the dairy-free milk, lemon juice, vanilla and oil. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Stir in the sugar.
  4. Add the bicarb to the wet ingredients and stir.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix to thoroughly combine.
  6. 2/3 rds fill the cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.

nut-free, dairy-free chocolate cupcakes, caramel icing

Salted Caramel Buttercream

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

enough to pipe onto 14-18 cupcakes

1/4 cup vegetable fat (such as Trex)

3/4 cup dairy-free margarine (such as Pure)

3 cups icing sugar, sifted (i used half Sugar and Crumbs Salted caramel flavour and half normal icing sugar)

1-2 tbsps dairy-free milk

(or if using essence, add 1-2tsp caramel essence and a pinch of salt)

  1. Whisk together the spread and vegetable fat.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time with a splash of the milk, until fully combined and nice and fluffy.
  3. Spread or pipe onto the cupcakes.
  4. Decorate with honeycomb pieces and cocoa powder if desired

salted caramel buttercream on chocolate cupcakes, vegan