You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the buttery, caramel-like flavor of these bar cookies that results from combining vegan margarine, sweet brown sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, and malty-flavored maca powder. Maca powder is made from a root vegetable, also known as Peruvian ginseng, that grows in the mountain plateaus of the Andes. When added to foods, maca powder imparts a slightly malty, butterscotch flavor, and is quite often used in raw food desserts and sweet treats. Reprinted with permission from The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Vegan Living* by Beverly Bennett and Ray Sammartano (Alpha Books, 2005).
Make 1 pan (9-inch)
- 3 tablespoon water
- 11⁄2 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer
- 1⁄3 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, melted
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 3 tablespoon maca powder
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄3 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9-inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, combine water and Ener-G Egg Replacer, and whisk vigorously for 1 minute or until very frothy (like beaten egg whites).
Add nonhydrogenated margarine, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and stir well to combine. Add whole-wheat pastry flour, maca powder, aluminum-free baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt, and stir well to combine. Stir in chopped raw almonds.
Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into 8 or 9 pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Variation: For Butterscotch Maca Bars, replace the brown sugar with an equal amount of packed muscavado sugar, replace the almond extract with an additional 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and omit the almonds.
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