These cookies are a family favourite. They are the perfect blend of salty, sweet, chewy and crunchy. It’s hard to tear yourself away from the cookie jar and why would you want to?! These were our favourite prior to switching up our diets however, guilty pleasures are a must. So when mum found gluten-free pretzels at Countdown, I had to figure out how to make this gluten and dairy free. I think I’ve cracked it, so come and check out the result!
These cookies have an Afghan Cookie texture, with a gooey centre of soft caramel and the crunch of pretzels. The mixture is surprisingly dry considering their soft texture once cooked - fear not!
As hard as I tried, I couldn’t seem to find gluten-free, dairy-free caramel in the supermarket! So, I decided to tackle making caramels myself! This was surprisingly easy and I now have a significant stock of wrapped caramels in the fridge ready for a sugar-craving hit or a baking experiment.
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These caramels would be fantastic inside a chocolate cupcake for a gooey surprise, or melted in the microwave and drizzled over popcorn or ice-cream for a delicious salted caramel touch. They’ve become a new essential in my fridge for when I want to impress and bring out something new in my baking.
As the caramels are made with coconut milk and brown sugar, they have a lovely rich flavour with a hint of coconut goodness - so you feel like you’re eating thick butter and sugar when it’s really just coconut milk!
1. Line a rimmed cookie sheet (I actually used a brownie tin) with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Attach a candy thermometer (I actually used a meat thermometer and it worked fine!) to a heavy bottomed pan so that the end is near the bottom, but not resting on it. Place the vegan buttery spread in the pan and melt over medium-high heat. Add the light brown sugar and stir until incorporated and melted.
3. Add the light organic corn syrup and full-fat coconut milk.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook, stirring constantly until a candy thermometer reads 235 degrees F (also known as the soft-ball stage). This process could take around 20 minutes, but be patient!
5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sea salt.
6. Pour the caramel on the prepared cookie sheet. It should spread out, but if needed, you can use a rubber spatula to help smooth it out.
7. Let the sheet of caramel cool completely before slicing. I like to pop my caramel into the fridge overnight, prior to cutting. Then individually wrap each caramel in squares of parchment paper or waxed paper.
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and sea salt.
3. With a mixer, cream coconut oil and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Next, add in vanilla extract and mix until combined.
4. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in the pretzel pieces and chocolate chips.
5. Form the cookie dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons of dough. Place a caramel piece in the center of the dough ball, making sure the cookie dough completely covers the caramel. This will prevent the caramel from oozing out in the oven. Place on the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt.
6. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
While these cookies are best straight out of the oven, they do somehow manage to remain gooey in the centre after being stored! Also, the edges crisp up nicely - they really are the most perfect cookies.
Hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Be sure to let us know if there are any favourite recipes you would like us to see us attempt to make gluten and dairy free!!
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