A few key boxes need to be checked to be considered a flawless late-night snack in our book. First, it needs some kind of crunchy element that will keep us going back for more. Second, it should be both salty and sweet, because TBH, we can never choose which we’re more in the mood for. Add a refreshing palate cleanser and boom: That’s one epic bite. That’s how we came up with vegan miso caramel dip with pretzels and Granny Smith apples.
This indulgent treat starts by boiling sugar and water on the stove until they brown, then adding coconut cream and miso to the mix. If you’ve never used either ingredient before, don’t sweat it. Coconut cream is basically the go-to dairy-free substitute for heavy cream, and miso paste is a traditional Japanese product made from fermented soybeans and a mold called koji. Its flavor is uber tangy and salty, so it adds a funky, umami-laced richness to the caramel. We suggest dissolving the miso in water to mellow its punchiness a bit before it’s added to the pot, but you could also just whisk it in straight from the container while the caramel is thickening to keep its flavor intense.
If you’re not on a plant-based diet, you can totally use heavy cream instead of coconut cream. Some strict vegans also may avoid regular white sugar, so feel free to use organic sugar or coconut sugar instead. Whatever ingredients you decide on, just make sure you have plenty of munchies for dipping—those are nonnegotiable.