Sunday, May 17, 2009

Poor (Vegan) Man's Almond Roca

My sisters swear this is a "secret family recipe, but 3,000 pages with the same recipe are only a Google-click away, so either someone's given away our family "secret" or (*gasp*) we've been duped... Seriously I think this recipe, or variations, have been around forever.

For the un-initiated "Almond Roca" is actually the Pacific Northwest's famous foil wrapped almond-and-chocolate covered buttercrunch toffee in the trademark pink can. These candies are insanely good, but sadly, every single variety is buttery, chocolate-y and so very un-vegan... as are the copycat "Poor Man's" recipes across the Internet.

So what's a chocolate-nut-toffee-loving vegan blogger to do, but try this recipe with somewhat more animal friendly ingredients? I think the results speak for themselves. This took a couple rounds to get "just right". The addition of coconut oil helps the margarine behave and cook up more like butter. I don't quite know the science behind that, but perhaps Alton Brown could tell me. One warning. Immediately freeze 3/4 of this recipe or you'll nibble at it all night long, it's that addicting....
Poor Man's Vegan Roca

  • 1 sleeve Saltine crackers (most varieties are vegan)
  • 3/4 cup vegan margarine (I have had the best luck with Nucoa or Willow Run Sticks; a soft, tub margarine will NOT work here)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar (you can use white, but I like brown better)
  • 2 cups vegan chocolate chips (we prefer Guittard semi-sweet - MUCH better than most health food store brands, though the "Enjoy Life" brand is a good option too)
  • 1 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds or pecans
Preheat oven to 350. Line a jelly roll pan (cookie-sheet with edges - I always have people ask what this is) with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Arrange crackers on foil to cover bottom of pan.
In saucepan, melt coconut oil, margarine and sugar. Boil just for 2 minutes, then pour over crackers and quickly spread evenly to cover all crackers.

Put in oven and bake for 7 - 10 minutes until light tan and bubbly.

Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the cracker mixture. Wait a moment or two and chips will melt. Spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle with nuts and press nuts in to make them stick to chocolate. Cool in fridge until completely hard. Break into pieces.
Try not to eat it all in one sitting. Keep extra (AS IF!!) in the fridge, it melts easily.


¡Yo Soy Liz! said...

wow I definitely will NOT be making this recipe, as in my vegetarians days I was known to eat one too many Almond Rocas in a single sitting. But damn these look tempting...

Sal said...

sounds awesome but yeah I could probably eat a whole tray of them!!

Bianca said...

I've never heard of roca, but I've eaten something similar...chocolate melted on saltines with homemade toffee. I loved the way the saltiness combined with the chocolate. Best combo ever!

Vegetation said...

Mmmm I want!! Yum!

Erin said...

Oh man, this sounds so so good. I could definitely eat that whole plate!

Helen said...

Yummy. I have never heard of Almond Rocas, they sound as if they may be like Dime Bars with added cracker.

Chocolate and saltiness is good. I remember the pleasure at children's parties of eating sweet buscuits with crisps.

Mandy said...

Made this tonight - very yummy!!! My mom used to make this years ago, but with Breton crackers instead and called it Breton Brittle. :)