Cookie season is in full swing, and we are celebrating with these insanely delicious, tender cookies. We are taking healthy cookies to a whole new level of decadence with our buttery Vegan Turtle Cookies! Lightly sweetened with maple syrup, drizzled with ooey-gooey caramel and rich chocolate, then topped with chopped pecans, this cookie is guaranteed to get rave reviews! Perfect for your holiday cookie tray or any day of the week.
Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no highly processed ingredients.
Dry Cookie Ingredients:
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ¼ + 1/8 teaspoon sea salt *
Wet Cookie Ingredients:
- ½ cup unsalted almond butter
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened peanut butter *
- 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ cup unsalted almond butter
- 2 Tablespoons organic maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 3 Medjool dates, pitted, finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons unsweetened plain plant milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch sea salt
Chocolate Drizzle Topping:
- ¼ cup chocolate chips, melted *
Other Topping Ingredients:
- Chopped toasted pecans *
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place oven rack in the center position, avoiding the lower oven rack placement.
- Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat (or parchment paper).
- Place all the other Dry Cookie Ingredients into a bowl, whisk to combine.
- Add the Wet Cookie Ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir well to combine (no electric mixer required).
- Take 2 tablespoons of cookie dough (we used 2 cookie scoops) and roll it in your hands to form a ball, then place the ball onto the silicone mat (or parchment paper) lined cookie sheet. Try to keep the cookie size uniform. Continue until you have rolled all the dough into balls and placed on the baking sheet.
- Then slightly flatten each ball into a round disk about 5/8 inch thick, then place the baking sheet (space them apart as they so spread) into a preheated 350 F oven and bake for 11 minutes.
- After 11 minutes, remove from the oven, allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet(s) undisturbed for 1 minute to firm up, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
- Allow to completely cool, make the Caramel Drizzle Topping (see recipe notes) and then drizzle warm Caramel Topping over the cooled cookies, and also then drizzle with melted chocolate. Finally sprinkle with chopped toasted pecans.
*Caramel Drizzle Topping Instructions: Place all the Caramel Drizzle Topping Ingredients into a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly to create a homogenous mixture. You may need to smash down on the minced dates with a wooden spoon to get them to mix well with the other ingredients. Cook for several minutes (low boil), stirring constantly until the mixture creates a thick caramel sticky texture. Remove from the heat for a few minutes, then place the caramel topping into a piping bag (or sandwich bag) * and/or drizzle over the cookies. Our family was totally divided over the amount of Caramel Drizzle Topping. Some family members loved a lot of drizzle while others preferred the amount you see in the photos. You may or may not have some left over. We used the left-over caramel topping to dip sliced apples in. Delish! *Sandwich Bag: Take a sandwich bag, place it into a small juice glass with one corner of the sandwich bag in the glass. Fold the opening of the bag over the edges of the glass and fill the bag with the warm caramel topping. Lift the bag out of the glass, twist and push all the caramel topping to the lower corner of the bag, snip off a tiny corner of the bag, then swirl the sauce over top of the cookies.
*Melted Chocolate Drizzle Instructions: Place the vegan chocolate chips into a small microwave safe bowl and microwave (or melt in a small pan) in 10 second intervals, stir vigorously in between intervals to help melt the chocolate. Repeat in 5 to 10 second intervals – just until the chocolate is completely melted (do not overheat or the chocolate separates) and the mixture comes together. Allow to slightly cool, then drizzle over the cookies with a teaspoon, and then sprinkle with chopped roasted pecans. We used Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mega Chocolate Chunks.
*Almond Butter and Peanut Butter: Check to make sure the only ingredient is peanuts for the peanut butter and almonds for the almond butter. Do not use a peanut butter or almond butter with added oils or sugars. For this recipe, do not pour off the natural oils that rise to the top of the jar. Simply mix it back down into the almond butter or peanut butter. This ensure that your almond butter or peanut butter is free flowing (with a little help from a spoon) and not a hard brick lump of solid almond butter or peanut butter. Additionally, if you refrigerate your almond butter or peanut butter, remove the required amount and place it in a bowl and allow it to come to remove temperature (or microwave for a few seconds just to soften it up – do not melt it).
*Peanut Butter: We love the delicious depth of flavor the 1 tablespoon of peanut butter adds to this recipe; however, if you cannot have peanut butter, you can substitute the peanut butter for the additional tablespoon of almond butter.
*Toasted Pecans: Place the chopped pecans into a medium-sized nonstick skillet and dry toast them over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, toast them just until you can smell the pecans. Stir them around the pan to ensure they do not burn. When the pecans are nicely toasted, remove from heat and immediately dump them onto a plate (to stop them from cooking in the skillet), to cool.
*Medjool dates: If using another dried date other than Medjool dates, you may need to soak them first. Typically, Medjool dates are very soft. However, if you are using a different date, test the date by pinching it. If the date is very soft, gooey, and pliable, then you can mince them with a sharp knife or add them to the food processor to break them up. If the dates are drier and stiff, then you will need to cover them with boiling water for about 20 minutes to soften them up before adding the dates to the food processor (or chopping by hand). We used Medjool dates and minced them with by hand using a sharp knife and in another test batch used our mini-chop food processor, both worked equally well.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Serving: Makes approximately 14 to 16 cookies.
*Storage: Use within 5 days. Freezes well.