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When I went vegan, dessert recipes were so much less sophisticated than they are now. You could find plenty of muffin recipes, and some decent cookies, but people were still making cakes with cardboard texture and taste. Times have changed, thank god!
Desserts are a universal language, and you can win people over so quickly by showing them that vegan doesn't mean rock hard, flavorless cardboard. In fact, when I bake for people, they are always blown away at how good vegan can be.
The best way to show a newcomer the light is by offering up your goodies, waiting until they proclaim "this is delicious," and then telling them they're vegan. That's when you'll get the truly shocked faces and people asking for recipes.
If you do it the other way around, and say, "here, try my vegan cupcakes," you can guarantee they're going to expect them to taste awful, and then try to defend that assumption by downplaying how good they are.
We also have vegan dessert recipes for:
Here's a perfect cold-weather dessert to try... caramel apples.
This vegan dessert recipe makes enough caramel sauce to cover 10 medium sized apples. It's a good idea to use a tart apple, like a Granny Smith, because the sauce itself is so sweet.
You can buy actual caramel apple sticks, but popsicle sticks, skewers, or even a fork (in a pinch!) all work as well.
To prepare, you should poke the wooden stick into your apples and set a cookie sheet covered with wax paper to the side of your operation.
It can get sticky, and you don't want to be trying to find a place to put them once these guys are all lubed up!
Also, you can dip them into chopped nuts, cookie crumbs, sprinkles, and just about anything else with the same texture if you like.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt margarine. Stir in sugar and corn syrup.
Bring the liquid to a boil and stir in condensed milk.
Stirring frequently, cook over medium heat until it reaches the soft ball stage, 220 degrees F. It's easiest to use a candy thermometer, but you can also dip a spoon into the mixture and drop a tiny bit of the caramel into a glass of cold water. If you can pick up the caramel in a soft ball that splits apart in your fingers, you've reached the right temperature.
Once it reaches soft ball stage, take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Allow the caramel to cool until it's nice and thick. If the caramel has had time to harden, reheat until just melted.
Holding the stick, dip each apple into caramel and turn to glaze each side.
Roll in any nuts or toppings, and then set onto wax paper to cool.
This vegan condensed milk can be used in coffee, for the caramel apple recipe above, and for any other non-vegan recipe that calls for it.
2 c. soy milk
1 ¾ c. brown sugar
2 T. corn starch
Measure the corn starch into a small glass or measuring cup.
Add 2-3 tbsp. of the soy milk and whisk with a small whisk or fork until smooth.
In a small saucepan, heat the remaining soy milk and brown sugar. Whisk in the cornstarch-soymilk mixture.
Bring to the boil, stirring constantly until thick.
Makes 1 cup vegan condensed milk.