This recipe for vegan turtle cookie squares was shared with us by Laura Theodore, the talented TV and radio personality behind the vegan cookbooks, Jazzy Vegetarian and Jazzy Vegetarian Classics.
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!
Special Diet Notes: Turtle Cookie Squares
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For soy-free vegan turtle cookie squares, make sure to use a soy-free buttery spread (both Earth Balance and Melt have options) and allergen-free chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life.
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
- ⅔ cup dairy-free buttery spread or non-hydrogenated margarine
- ½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 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.
I made these and had to throw them out! It was too much sugar and butter and they were greasy and didn’t set up. For a vegan recipe this would never do.
Hi Merleen, I’m so sorry Laura’s recipe didn’t work out for you. Are you baking at high altitude (above 2500 feet). Vegan cookies are tricky at higher altitude and greasiness with an overly-sugary taste is common. I’m not sure how they didn’t set up once completely cool. There aren’t any straight liquid components. Refrigeration to fully cool can help.
I know this is an old post, but hoping I’ll get a response anyway. I made these last year and they were amazing! I wanted to make them again but found that I’m out of any flour other than all-purpose. Can I substitute regular white flour for the whole wheat? Would I need to make any adjustments? Or would I be better off waiting to make this when I can get to the grocery store for the proper flour? Thanks!
Recipes never get old! We’re here daily, updating and adding, so you can count on old or new with Go Dairy Free 🙂
Yes, you can definitely substitute all-purpose flour 1:1. Laura uses wheat flour for a heartier hit, but all-purpose is an even swap. They might taste just a touch less “hearty,” but I promise they will be delicious and still work!
Happy Holidays Kristi!
I have a friend that cannot eat dairy or soy. I love that you’ve given both options here. I will pass this along to her!
I do my best with allergen help! 🙂
Yum! I love turtles and these look delicious!
Those sound wonderful. I love to see old recipes that used to be off-limits for those with food allergies made over so everyone can enjoy them!
I am super excited to try your gluten free suggestion for this recipe. It looks decadent and delicious!