My adventures in raw and vegan dessert and the occasional savory recipe creation!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Vegan Red Velvet Bars
"Add a little love to your desserts and they will taste all the sweeter." I couldn't agree more. Desserts always taste better when you prepare them with love and add the extra details to make them all the more delcious.
A few weeks back my friend Gabrielle said "Tuck beets into a berry pie, and what do you get? Love in a pie!" This is also true, they add a lovely red color and make it all the more appealing to the eyes, plus add they nutrition that the unsuspecting eater of the pie gets as an added benefit. We have had this conversation many times before because we are both beet lovers, and we believe that they make many things more delicious.
Especially my Red Velvet Cake. I confess have never made a red velvet cake without beets. I just can't get past adding all that artificial food coloring to something you are going to consume most likely a large slice of (if you are me). For a long time now, I have been wanting to make red velvet bars using the idea of beets for coloring.
I had made some red velvet cookies back around Christmas time, and they were delicious, but I thought some bars swirled with cream cheese (vegan of course) would be even more so. This weekend when I had some leftover beets in my fridge, I decided now was the time! I used my red velvet cookie base, then made a sweet cream cheese laced with vanilla and swirled it throughout the batter. It was quite beautiful the red and white marbled in the pan. It smelled like fragrant vanilla cake while baking...filling my kitchen with the most heavenly aroma!
Once they were cool enough to slice, I thought something so beautiful and filled with love deserved to be cut into hearts instead of just boring bars. They were moist and cakey like Red Velvet Cake, sweet and vanilla scented with the soft sweet cream cheese distributed throughout, so delicious!
Most importantly they were filled with love in thoughtful preparation, and in beets which the enjoyer of the bars would not even think was there unless you told them so. I have to admit, they were also addictive which I discovered once I had polished off all of the leftover scraps from cutting out the hearts. Luckilly there were plenty of hearts left to share. Here is the recipe if you would like to experience them for yourself, but don't forget to add a little love!
Vegan Red Velvet Bars
1 cup maple sugar, or granulated organic sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread at room temperature
1/2 cup cooked red organic beet puree
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
a few drops beet based red food coloring
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 7 x 11 inch square pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, combine buttery spread and coconut oil with sugar and beat until fluffy and well combined. Beat in the beets, vanilla extract, and agave nectar until well combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, then add to the large bowl, and mix until well combined, and then pour into the prepared pan and smooth out. In a medium bowl, beat together swirl ingredients until smooth, then drop by the Tbsp full onto the other batter in the prepared pan and swirl with a knife.
Bake for about one 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean but do not overbake! Cool in the pan about 20 minutes, then lift out foil and set on a rack and let sit until completely cool. Cut into 12 bars (or use a cookie cutter to cut into hearts which is what I did).