Vegan Eats

Vegan Turtle Cookie Bars

No turtles were harmed in the making of these cookie bars.

I promise.

You all remember turtles, right? Those delicious chocolate turtle shaped treats filled with pecans and caramel?

Well, every year for Christmas my mom makes cookie bar versions of them – and she knows they’re my favourite, so we veganized them this year! They have a dense shortbread cookie crust, and are drizzled with melted chocolate, caramel, chocolate chips and chopped pecans.

And top of being delicious, they’re also pretty easy to make.

This was the pan before we very unevenly chopped them into squares to store and freeze until the holidays.

Oh, and are you looking for vegan chocolate chips? PC and Kirkland brand are both accidentally vegan – their semisweet chips contain no milk products, which is wonderful since they’re easily accessible and can be found in most stores.

The only specifically vegan ingredient in this recipe is the Earth Balance butter used in the cookie crust and the caramel, which is typically easy to find as well, especially in larger grocery stores.

Want to impress the vegans and non-vegans in your life? These cookie bars are the perfect way to do just that.

You won’t be able to keep your little paws off these!

Vegan Turtle Cookie Bars

Ingredients

Cookie Crust
– 2 cups all purpose flour
– 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
– 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter, softened

Chocolate Caramel Layer
– 1 cup pecans, chopped
– 2/3 cups Earth Balance butter
– 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
– 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (PC or Kirkland brand)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl, beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended
3. Pat the mixture firmly into an ungreased 13×9 pan, and arrange the pecans evenly over the crust
4. Combine 2/3 cups of butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly
5. Cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly
6. Pour the caramel mixture over the pecans
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes, or until golden and bubbly
8. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips
9. Let stand for 2-3 minutes, until the chocolate is slightly melted, and swirl it gently with a knife
10. Let cool on a wire rack and room temperature until the chocolate sets, and then slice and enjoy!

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