Vegan Bourbon Bars

Vegan Bourbon Bars

These bourbon bars are the ultimate Christmas dessert in my family. Packed with pecans, chocolate chips, and raisins in the cookie base, and doused with a healthy pour of bourbon in both batter and frosting, there’s a lot to love about these boozy little bars. This year, trying to be more climate friendly, I decided to veganize my aunt’s classic recipe. This version uses vegan butter and aquafaba in place of butter and eggs. (In trials, I found aquafaba to be the best egg replacement for these bars, because they help to bind the batter together while not adding too much moisture.) Enjoy!

Recipe: Vegan Bourbon Bars

  • Makes: 2 dozen 2-inch bars, or 4 dozen 1-inch (bite-size) bars
  • Total time: 2 hours (30 minutes prep time, 20-25 minutes active bake time, 1 hour cooling)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup vegan butter (softened) — testing this or +2 tbs
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tbs aquafaba
  • ⅓ cup bourbon
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

FROSTING

  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon

METHOD

  • If your pecans are raw, toast in the oven for 5 minutes at 375F (190C). 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine softened vegan butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Using the whisk attachment, mix over medium until slightly lightened in color, and well-combined. Add aquafaba and mix well to combine. (It will stay grainy–that’s ok.)
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to vegan butter mixture alternatively with the bourbon, in three parts each. By the end you’ll have a smooth batter.
  • Stir in pecans, raisins, and chocolate chips just to combine.
  • Bake in a greased 13×9 inch pan at 350F (175C) for 20-25 minutes. 
  • Once bars are completely cool, prepare frosting by combining powdered sugar, vegan butter, vanilla, and bourbon in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (Can also be done by hand.)
  • Once bars are cool, frost evenly with frosting, and slice into squares.

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