For years, my mom has been making a dairy-based version of these turtle cookie squares. Several years ago we decided to create a vegan version, which is as good as—or maybe even better than—the original recipe. Dripping with a rich chocolate topping on a crisp cookie and nut crust, this decadent cookie makes a fabulous Valentine’s day treat!
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For gluten-free vegan turtle cookie squares, we don’t have a tested option, but you can try your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend with binder included (such as xanthan gum). You will need a good binder in the blend as this recipe is made without eggs.
- ½ cup dairy-free buttery spread or non-hydrogenated margarine
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour (such as white-wheat)
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1½ cups dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Put buttery spread, brown sugar and flour in a blender or food processor and process until particles are fine, forming a loose dough. (This can also be done by hand in a mixing bowl.)
- Pour the dough into an ungreased 8x12-inch baking pan and press it into a very thin, even layer, using your hands. Arrange the pecan halves on top.
- Add buttery spread and brown sugar to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to bubble. Pour the hot filling over the pecans and crust.
- Bake on the center rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the pecans are slightly golden.
- Put the pan on a wire rack and immediately pour the vegan chocolate chips over the pecans and filling. As the chips melt, spread the chocolate evenly over the top of the pecans and filling. (If the chocolate chips do not melt completely, put the pan back in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute to melt.)
- Cool for 30 minutes and cut into 16 to 20 cookie squares. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the cookies will keep for 4 days.