Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Turtle Cookies (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free & Vegan)

One of my favorite recipes to brag on as of lately is Snicker's Pie. If you read often, you're probably sick of hearing me go on about Snicker's Pie. Well, good news! I found a new recipe to obsess over! These turtle cookies are SO easy to put together (even easier than Snicker's Pie!), they don't require any bake time and they are allergen safe! Score!

These cookies are such a delicious pairing of a nutty chocolate base with a caramel filling sprinkled with some crushed pecans and drizzled with a little dark chocolate. I didn't really know what to expect but I loved them! They were a big hit all around in my house! Even the Bean thought they were yummy and she isn't always a fan of my gluten free/sugar free/dairy free ventures!

This recipe is from a darling little blog called From My Bowl. You can find it HERE. I have been browsing through several of her other recipes and I can't wait to try them out! I have my eye on the vegan and gluten free key lime pie! Let's get on to the recipe, shall we?

Everything about these cookies is super easy but the bottom layer might just be the easiest! Put 1 cup of pecans, 1/2 cup of gluten free oats, 1/3 cup of cacao powder and 1/2 teaspoons of salt in the bowl of your food processor and pulse to combine. The ingredients should combine to make a flour like mixture.

A few things to note - I used cacao, but you could easily use cocoa. There are a few nutritional differences that you can read up on if you so desire, but either will do the trick! And I might try this recipe with unsweetened shredded coconut instead of gluten free oats in the future. I am trying to reduce grains as much as possible and I think coconut might work really well with this recipe!

Once those first ingredients are combined and flour-like, add in 3 Tablespoons of Tahini, 1 cup of packed Medjool dates and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and blend until a dough is formed.

More things to note - you can use any nut or seed butter instead of tahini, but I thought tahini worked really well! And we buy dates that are already pitted (and I highly recommend it!) but if your dates are whole, pit them before adding them to the food processor!

When the dough is formed, use a Tablespoon to scoop out cookies. I recommend rolling the Tablespoons into a ball and spreading them out over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then, using your thumb to form a well in the center of each cookie (this well will hold the caramel later!).

The original recipe recommends using 2 Tablespoons to form each cookie. I opted to use 1 Tablespoon instead and it worked out great! I was able to get 24 cookies but know that there is a bit of flexibility in how how you size the cookies.

When all of the cookies are thumbprinted (is that a verb? Oh well! I just made it one!) place the entire cookie sheet in the refrigerator to let the cookies solidify while you work on the caramel.
For the caramel, add 1/2 cup of coconut sugar, 1/4 cup of cashew milk, 1 Tablespoon of tahini and a pinch of salt to a small saucepan.

Apparently this recipe is all about the notes! Here are a couple more - you can use brown sugar instead of coconut sugar (but then the recipe will not be refined sugar free). You can use any kind of non-dairy milk and again, you can use any kind of nut or seed butter instead of tahini.

Whisk the contents of the saucepan together over medium heat until they reach a simmer. Let the mixture simmer for 2 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-low and continuing to whisk for another 3-4 minutes until the caramel sauce thickens. The sauce will thicken quite a bit when you take it off the heat so it should thicken while on the burner but it doesn't need to be super thick!
The caramel sauce gets really thick really fast! And the thicker it gets, the harder it is to work with! So, don't let the caramel sit to cool for too long before using it to fill the cookies. I recommend filling the cookies within 5 minutes of taking the caramel off the heat! I used a dessert spoon to add a little bit of caramel to each cookie. Do your best to add the caramel as evenly as possible - you can always go back and add more later.

Once the cookies have been filled with caramels, sprinkle some crushed pecans over each cookie. You could place a whole pecan down but I found the cookies a little small and used crushed pecans instead.
Melt some dark chocolate in a microwave safe dish. I use the term 'some' loosely. I used 5 squares of dark chocolate off of a larger bar. Is that enough of a measurement? Let me know if you have questions about that! Drizzle the melted chocolate over each cookie.

When the cookies are filled with caramel and topped with some crushed pecans and drizzled chocolate, place them back in the oven to solidify. These cookies keep best when they are stored in the fridge. I recommend storing them in the fridge until you are ready to serve them.

(Vegan, Gluten Free & Refined Sugar Free!)
yield: 24 cookies


for the cookies...
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup gluten free oats
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 packed cup Medjool dates, pitted
3 Tablespoons Tahini (or any other nut or seed butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the caramel...
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup cashew milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
1 Tablespoons Tahini
pinch of salt

for the topping...
2 Tablespoons pecans, crushed
5 squares dark chocolate, melted


for the cookies...
1. Process the pecans, the gluten free oats, the cacao powder and the salt in the food processor until they combine to form a flour like mixture.
2. Add in the dates, the Tahini and the vanilla extract and process until the mixture forms a dough that holds together.
3. Use a Tablespoon to section out dough and roll each section into a ball.
4. Evenly distribute the rolled dough along a baking sheet lined with parchments paper, then use your thumb to form a well at the center of each cookie. This well will hold the caramel later.
5. Once complete, put the cookies in the fridge to set while you work on the caramel.

for the caramel...
1. Add the coconut sugar, the cashew milk, Tahini and the salt to a small saucepan.
2. Whisk the contents of the saucepan together over medium heat until they come to a simmer. Whisk while the mixture simmers for 2 minutes.
3. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to whisk for another 3-4 minutes as the caramel thickens.
4. Once thickened, remove the caramel from the heat and use a spoon to pour some caramel into the center of each cookie. The caramel get really thick, really fast, so I recommend filling the cookies within 5 minutes of removing the caramel from the heat.

for the topping...
1. When all of the cookies have been filled with caramel, sprinkle a little bit of the crushed pecans on top of each cookie.
2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and drizzle it over each cookie.

See you tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment