Caramel Popcorn Cookies

I love creating new cookie recipes, and the possibilities seem endless as more vegan treats enter the market! This one combines rich caramel sauce, crunchy caramel popcorn and creamy cashews with my classic vegan cookie dough, but as always you can experiment with what you have on hand. My Caramel Popcorn Cookies are easy to make and taste fabulous, and can be frozen with or without the mix-ins until you're ready to bake them. Chewy, gooey and crunchy, take them to your next party or picnic or enjoy at home!

Ingredients for the cashew crunch

  • 75g raw or roasted and unsalted cashews
  • 10g soy milk powder
  • 10g caster sugar
  • 1/4 salt
  • 40g vegan butter, melted

Ingredients for the dough

  • 137g vegan butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vegan egg (I used Bob's Red Mill which calls for 1 tbs egg replacement powder mixed with 2 tbs water per egg)
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 35g vegan caramel popcorn
  • 35g vegan mini marshmallows (like Dandies)
  • 30g vegan caramel sauce (like Nature's Charm)

Instructions for the cashew crunch

  • Preheat oven to approximately 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Combine cashews, milk powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl and mix well.
  • Add butter and mix until well combined.
  • Pour mixture onto prepared tray, spreading out evenly.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the coconut starts to brown.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

Instructions for the dough

  • Place butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. If you're using a handheld mixer, place the ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Beat the mixture at a medium speed for 5-10 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed to ensure the mixture is fully incorporated.
  • Add the vegan egg and mix for 1 minute.
  • Add the flour, powder, soda and salt and mix on a slow speed for 30 seconds, until most of the flour is incorporated. Try not to overmix at this stage, otherwise the mixture may end up tough.
  • Finally, add the popcorn, marshmallows and cashew crunch and mix for a final 30 seconds. If needed, you can use a spatula to incorporate the final chunks at this stage.
  • Using an ice-cream scooper, scoop dough into a container lined with baking paper. I like big cookies and usually get 16 cookies from this mixture, but you could get 32 and still end up with a good-sized cookie.
  • Place the lid on the container and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. I leave mine for 24 hours to fully infuse and chill, but you could also leave them in the refrigerator for up to 36 hours.
  • Preheat oven to approximately 180 degrees Celsius and line multiple large trays with baking paper.
  • Remove the container from the refrigerator and transfer the dough onto prepared trays, pressing the mixture down slightly.
  • Drizzle caramel onto each cookie, warming up if needed.
  • Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, or more or less depending on the size you choose. They'll be ready once they've started to brown lightly.

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