I always feel guilty when I do this, but that only lasts until I actually taste the result. What is "this," you ask? Well, de-veganize a recipe that seems like its owner tried very hard to veganize in the first place.
In this case, I took the Almond Avalanche Bars recipe from My Sweet Vegan and used butter instead of margarine. Although I grew up with margarine in the house, I haven't liked it since I first tried butter as a child at my great grandmother's apartment in the Bronx. That also was the first time I remember eating white bread and using a toaster oven as well.
My version of Ms. Kaminsky's recipe also included a few other big changes:
1. Agave nectar for the brown sugar, corn syrup, and granulated sugar.
2. Cashew butter and cashew macadamia nut butter for the almond butter (so rich!).
3. Unsweetened carob chips for the chocolate chips.
4. 2/3 cup coconut flour added to the topping.
OK, for those of you who have the cookbook and have already made these by the recipe and are saying to yourselves, "Why on Earth would she add coconut flour to the topping?" I say, my mixture was pretty wet. Really wet and goopy. It might be because I had just opened the cashew butter and mixed the oil into the butter while it was still room temperature. Maybe it was because there isn't any flour to hold the topping together, and I used agave instead of sugar. Regardless, my topping turns out super-rich and candy-like.
The butter crust was (ehem) too buttery for me. I know. Laugh all you want, my vegan friends. Nonetheless, if I make this again, I'd use about half the butter for the crust.
The bars as I made them were a bit too sweet for me, but I'm bringing a big plate of the bars for a gathering tonight and let you know what the taste testers think of my reworking of My Sweet Vegan's Almond Avalanche Bars.