Turtle Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans, Chocolate, and Medjool Dates

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veganturtlecookie 4125   Turtle Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans, Chocolate, and Medjool Dates

Let’s keep this holiday goodie train chuggin’ along, with a new cookie recipe that I made recently for a holiday get together. It’s inspired by the Turtles candy, with a nutty, “buttery” base of toasted pecans, caramel-like Medjool dates, and mini dark chocolate chips. They did not last long. I bet you’ve never had an oatmeal cookie quite like this one – it’s a keeper, for sure! I have to say, it replaces my oatmeal raisin cookies as the new reigning champion. And I didn’t think anything could top those.

Introducing the world’s best tasting cookie dough. Try it and see…

veganturtlecookie 4099   Turtle Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans, Chocolate, and Medjool Dates

The cookies aren’t too shabby either! My favourite way to eat them is straight from the fridge or freezer. Weird, right? They get really firm and crispy when chilled – almost caramelized in texture – and I just can’t get enough.

veganturtlecookie 4109   Turtle Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans, Chocolate, and Medjool Dates

I’m so sorry to do this to you, but I’m keeping the recipe a secret.

Don’t be mad.

Sometimes I just want to keep a recipe all to myself. Is that wrong?

I feel horrible!

Ok, ok stop punching your computer screen. I’m only joking! Poor computer screen.

For the full recipe, head on over to Keepin’ It Kind where I’m participating in Kristy’s Vegan Cookie Swap Party.

Edited to add: you can now find the recipe below:

Vegan "Turtle" Oatmeal Cookies

Vegan, gluten-free

By

print icon   Turtle Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans, Chocolate, and Medjool Dates

Inspired by one of my childhood favourite candies, these "Turtle" Oatmeal Cookies are studded with caramel-like Medjool dates and dark chocolate chips, all surrounded with a nutty toasted pecan and oat base. If you can stop eating the dough for long enough to bake them, you are in for a real treat. This sounds a bit strange, but my favourite way to enjoy these is straight from the fridge or freezer where the cookies get firm and crisp.

Yield
16 large cookies
Prep Time
20 Minutes
Cook time
12 Minutes
Total Time
32 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 + 3/4 cups pecan halves
  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats, divided
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Pamela’s brand, see note)
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat or unpacked brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3.5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/3 cup pitted dates, diced
  • 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toast pecans for about 9-11 minutes, until golden and fragrant. After toasting, remove from oven and cool for a few minutes. Add pecans into food processor along with 1 cup of oats and process until coarsely chopped with some fine powder (see photo in blog post). Be sure not to over process or the oils in the nuts will release.
  2. In a large bowl, stir the pecan/oat mixture, the remaining 1 cup rolled oats, flour, Sucanat, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the maple syrup, melted coconut oil, milk, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture on the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, coat the chopped dates in 1/2-1 teaspoon of flour and toss until coated. This prevents the dates from sticking together. Fold the dates and chocolate chips into the dough.
  5. Take about 2 tablespoons of dough, roll it into a ball, and then press down on it with your hand to flatten it on the baking sheet. Space cookies a couple inches apart. Repeat until you have about 16 cookies.
  6. Bake for 12-13 minutes at 350F until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 3-4 mins before placing cookies onto a cooling rack for 15 minutes.

 

Notes: 1) Instead of gluten-free all-purpose flour, you can probably swap it for regular all-purpose flour. Depending on the flour you use, the results can vary. 2) As for the gluten-free flour blend, I recommend using one that is rice based (such as Pamela's brand) and avoid using one that is garbanzo based (such as Bob's Red Mill) to avoid any bean-y flavour.

 

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Eating 4 Balance December 18, 2013

Turtles are some of my favorite holiday treats! My grandma makes boxes and boxes of them every year. She ties them up in little red bows and as kids we would pass them out to all of our homeroom teachers, administrators, etc. Clicking over now to see you recipe :)

Reply

Suzanne @ hello, veggy! December 18, 2013

Oh my, STOP IT!! These will be my waistline’s sole destroyer this holiday; so worth it!

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C December 18, 2013

They have oats and pecans! They’re breakfast! :)

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Angela December 18, 2013

Eric…is that you? hah ;)

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Averie @ Averie Cooks December 18, 2013

Oh I love chewy oatmeal cookies with tons of texture and Turtles! These are a perfect cookie for me! And of course that you just nailed them, even being vegan and GF, even better! I bet the dates keep them soft, chewy and pack in the moisture, too! pinned

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health December 18, 2013

I was like, WHAT?! You’re keeping the worlds best cookie dough from us?! Good thing you were kidding,

The creativity from you is endless. I’m not a caramel fan but I think your replacements sound amazing. They look fantastic! Please stop adding to my list of things to bake. ;)

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Aimee December 18, 2013

Bahahaha! When I saw these my eyes lit up and was like “OMG, I LOVE YOU!!” then I read you weren’t sharing the recipe and instantly was devastated… I wish U could have seen how quickly my smile became a frown. You are a tricky little lady. Thanks for the recipe.. I might have to bump out another cookie in the Christmas baskets this year!! But, I suppose one can never have too many cookies! That’s like complaining you have too much money lol :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 18, 2013

LOL..my work here is done. jk.
I agree there is never such a thing as too many cookies!

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mary December 18, 2013

I used to LOVE turtles! I want to make this TODAY!

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Maggie December 20, 2013

omgoodness!!! I LOVE your piglet avatar!!!!!!!!!!!

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Danny Lake December 18, 2013

Thank you for sharing this recipe! Every time I make anything with oatmeal it just never comes out right. It’s either soggy or rock hard!
But I’ll keep trying though!

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Catherine @ Chocolate & Vegetables December 18, 2013

Yum, these look delicious! Heading over to check out the recipe now!

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Momstarr December 18, 2013

Would these still do well without the dates? Sorry, but chewy things in my cookies interrupt the crunchy goodness. They look good.

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Angela December 18, 2013

For sure, you can change up the mix-ins as you wish. :)

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Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} December 18, 2013

These look sooo delicious! Thank goodness you aren’t really keeping the recipe to yourself :) Any cookie with oats + nuts + chocolate is a winner in my book!

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Anele @ Success Along the Weigh December 18, 2013

You’re too nice not to share with us! ;-)

(And I’m betting my family will be awfully glad you did! YUM!)

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Erin @ An Inside Job December 18, 2013

These look delicious! I will probably make them this weekend! One question…do you think you would be able to sub almond flour for the gluten free all purpose flour? I love using almond flour :)

Thanks for so many great recipes!

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Angela December 18, 2013

Hey Erin,

I’m not sure if they would hold together using just almond flour. I would think you’d need a gluten-based flour OR the GF all-purpose for ideal binding properties. I could be wrong though!

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Amelia December 19, 2013

Angela,
I used part almond flour part brown rice flour and part coconut flour instead of pamela’s mix, only because that is what I had on hand. Worked great! I doubt all almond flour would work though, since it is more oil/fat based than gf mixes. Just my thoughts :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 19, 2013

So glad it worked out! thanks for letting me know.

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dishing up the dirt December 18, 2013

haha! Thanks for sharing. These sound fantastic!

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Leon December 18, 2013

Phew, I almost yelled NOOO at the screen before realising you did in fact share the recipe. :) The photos look so good, makes you feel like you can grab the cookies off the computer screen.

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan December 18, 2013

I was like “WHAT?!” when you said you weren’t going to share the recipe, oh heck no! Love Kristy’s cookie swap!

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Katrina @ WVS December 18, 2013

Oh my! These are so tasty sounding. Yum!

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elizabeth~hippy mom December 18, 2013

Hey there Angela, I was at WF today pounding back some Kombucha as I turned the corner in the store what did I see Not your book but it would have been cool if it was PROUDLY sittiing on the shelves of WF or Trader Joes, Sunflower/Sprouts market or In Canadas NAtural Health Food Stores. I hope one day I can go into WF and buy your book and heck Id pick up a case of Glo Bars too… Just sayin !Happy Holidays You!!!

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The Wooden Spoon December 18, 2013

Oh, no. I could never stop eating turtles when these were around. This has danger written all over it….

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Michelle Miller December 18, 2013

Very funny! In my mind, I was thinking of your Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie recipe, and what changes would need to be made to make these.. glad I won’t have to guess!

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Koko December 18, 2013

I just made these for a fellowship on Saturday and they are fantastic. I already know they will not last until then in my house. Also, thanks for the warning about eating the dough … it’s addictive.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 18, 2013

Oh my….. screw the baking, I’ll just have the dough please! :) These look ridiculously good. Fun fact: When I was a kid, I loved eating frozen cookies too. My mum would freeze batches of oatmeal cookies (I’m assuming it was so that we wouldn’t eat them as fast), but that never stopped me. Must be an Angela quirk lol!

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Marquelle December 18, 2013

Do you think an oat flour would work? I don’t have any gluten-free flour on hand and I’d love to keep them gluten free!

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Sabrina @ Living, Learning, Eating December 18, 2013

I made turtle oatmeal cookies today and they’re to die for, but definitely not as nutritious as yours – mine are an old family recipe with lots of butter, white sugar, and eggs. I’ll have to try these out for a less sinful alternative. We’ll see how the family likes them!

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Jessica December 19, 2013

I also wonder about a flour swap, using spelt in place of the GF flour. I live in a very remote area and good GF flour isn’t really available but I want to make these to bring to my wheat sensitive sister for Christmas and spelt flour is what we have up here. Would you please be able to help me out with a substitution, how much should I use?
Thanks.

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winnie December 19, 2013

these look great … I’m wondering about substituting brown rice syrup for the maple syrup. It’s a much thicker, treacly consistency … but it’s what I have on hand, and we like to use what we have on hand. I also use brown rice syrup in my bijou peanut butter cups, which thickens the mixture like maple syrup does. Thanks for the recipe!

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Veronica @ Veggie V December 19, 2013

I love cookies (and just about anything else) straight from the freezer.

Years ago – before I saw the light (haha) – I left a box of Pop Tarts in my car in the winter, and my love of frozen pastries was born!

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Amelia December 19, 2013

Ang, I made these this morning as a gift for a few friends. Holy moly they are delicious! I used coconut sugar in place of the sucanat and my own blend of gf flour, but kept everything else the same. It took so much will power not to drink the ‘wet’ ingredients before adding to the dry. Oh, and once you add the two mixtures, it was like toffee caramel heaven. My husband (who is VERY picky) stated that he would have no problem just eating the dough because it was SO good. I agree! Thanks!

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Christina @ The Beautiful Balance December 19, 2013

I would eat the batter by the spoonful!

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Jessica Eagle December 20, 2013

Thank you Angela for that wonderful recipe :) Can’t wait to try it. I have a quick question though. I only have the Bob’s Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour mix at home. I don’t have access to the Pamela’s Brand in my region. So, I’m wondering if you have a homemade gluten-free all-purpose mix recipe to suggest me ? I pretty have most of all the gluten-free flour here, so I can definitely make an interesting mix. However, I don’t know which one to use and in what proportion. I would really appreciate if you can help me with this one :) Thanks in advance and have a nice weekend.

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Susan December 22, 2013

I used the Bob’s Red Mill because it was all I had and they turned out delicious. Not beany!

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Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner December 20, 2013

I love parties with milk and cookies! I’m all in! <3

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Shaina December 20, 2013

LOL, you got me (:

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Julie Meulemans December 21, 2013

These cookies are so delicious even my teen daughter approves. And she’s a tough nut to crack…

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Jacky December 21, 2013

O.M.G.! I just made these. Best. Cookies. Ever! Amazing! Only thing I did was to make them half the size so I have more of them. I’ve baked them to take to my office on Monday, but they may not make it. Or I just have to bake another batch….. seriously fabulous!!!!!!

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Susan December 22, 2013

Just made these for my sister who is gluten-free and visiting for Christmas. So delicious! Even my very picky husband couldn’t get enough!

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Beka December 23, 2013

Made these… they were good but have to admit, your Oatmeal Choc Chip are a lot better. :) But it was a nice change with the dates and less work to make them.

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Tessa Trach December 23, 2013

Angela,

I was wondering if you have seen this website before and your thoughts on other butter replacements to use.
http://www.undergroundhealth.com/earth-balance-betrays-consumers-with-false-non-gmo-and-organic-claims/

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Rose December 23, 2013

OMG best cookies ever! Thank you! I made a couple of changes to mine based on what I had on had. 1. I used spelt flour. Not technically GF but my son is GF sensitive and can tolerate Spelt. 2. I used coconut sugar instead of succulent. 3. Instead of mini chips (Whole Foods was sold out!) I used the larger dark chocolate disk shape chips.
I would recommend more chopped dates in the recipe as I couldn’t really taste them in the cookies.
I would also recommend not making these on Dec 23 with the plan of using them for Santa’s cookies. I doubt I will be able to save 1 for him! haha

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Angela December 23, 2013

I made these tonight and my husband and I are already obsessed! So good…I hope the rest make it to our Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow! Also, I’m evil because I ate all the cookie dough before the husband came home ;)

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Eileen December 28, 2013

These look fabulous, can’t wait to try them. Was wondering if there is a replacement for the coconut oil, since we are plant strong?

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Julia January 4, 2014

These are fantastic! Thanks for sharing. I sent them to my in laws for Christmas and they were very much enjoyed. I tried them…or really, I tried four (!) before sending them and looked forward to making them again.
Tonight is the night! With snow on the way they seemed perfect, but I thought I’d share some variations I made… I didn’t want to use sugar since we are trying to avoid it, so I substituted date sugar (still used the maple syrup) also left out the chocolate (hard but true) and added a few more half pieces of toasted pecans. They are great, still!! I made my flour (thanks vitamix) using Isa’s recipe from her cookie cookbook.
Do you ever cook with date sugar?
Thanks for all the yummy recipes you share!
Julia

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