These vegan turtle shortbread are chocolatey, caramelly, salty goodness all wrapped up in a single treat. When it comes to dessert, this flavor combination is and has always been my absolute favorite. It hits all the right notes and carries them across my tastebuds in a perfect symphony.
This incredible cacophony of flavor is settled together in ooey gooey layers atop a crust of buttery shortbread, offering this confection the perfect level of crunch. Score another one for dessert texture!
Prior to making this recipe I had never really attempted to create a vegan shortbread. I thought it would be quite difficult but given how far vegan butter has come in the past decade, I found it very doable.
The same goes for the salted caramel sauce. I can’t tell you how many jars of caramel I have turned around in the grocery store in the hope of finding a vegan offering. I have never had any such luck. Due to my incredible misfortune, (cry!) I set out on my own to create the perfect alternative. I think I succeeded.
This caramel has the perfect salty to sweet ratio and a wonderful pouring consistency. If for whatever reason you do not wish to make these bars yourself, (WHY?) you can take the caramel sauce recipe and drizzle it on anything you like. Ice cream? Check! Latte? Yes please! Salad? You do you mate.Print
Vegan Turtle Shortbread
Shortbread-pretzel crust covered in salted caramel and topped with a smooth layer of chocolate.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 25 squares
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Vegan, Baking
For Shortbread Crust
1/2 c vegan margarine, softened
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 c chopped pretzels
For Salted Caramel Sauce
1/4 c water
1 c sugar
1/2 c full-fat coconut milk
3 tbsp vegan margarine
1 tsp sea salt
For Chocolate Sauce
1 c chocolate chips
1 tbsp vegan margarine
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C) and line a square 9in. pan with parchment paper with paper sticking out over the sides.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat margarine with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Continue beating until mixture becomes fine and crumbly, resembling the consistency of wet sand. Tightly press shortbread into prepared dish using palms and fingertips. Once flat, press chopped pretzels into the shortbread. Bake on center oven rack for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
3. While shortbread is in the oven, make caramel sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium heat and allow to simmer without stirring for about 10 minutes. Mixture will bubble and become golden brown. CAREFULLY and SLOWLY whisk in coconut milk. (Keep in mind that the coconut milk is much cooler than the caramel sauce so steam will expel rapidly). Allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in vegan margarine and sea salt. Set aside.
4. Once shortbread is completely cool, drizzle caramel sauce over the bars. Spread caramel out in an even layer. Place pan into the refrigerator for about an hour.
5. Once caramel sauce is slightly set, melt chocolate chips and vegan margarine over a double boiler or in the microwave, removing and stirring every 20 seconds. Once mixture is completely smooth, spread evenly over caramel layer of shortbread. Return pan to refrigerator for another hour.
6. Once chocolate is completely set, pull up on sides of parchment paper and remove bars from pan. Cut into even squares and enjoy. Bars can keep in sealed container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
Keywords: dessert, caramel, chocolate, shortbread