These delicious little cookies are a perfect bite of pecan, caramel, almond butter and chocolatey goodness. This will be one of your new favorite go-to desserts!

Pecan Turtle Caramel Thumbprint Cookies [Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free]

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Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt

For the caramel filling:

  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt

For the chocolate drizzle:

  • 1/4 cup vegan semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
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Preparation

Prepare the cookies:

  1. Prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients for the cookies to a food processor and pulse about 10 to 12 times, or until the pecans and dates are broken down into small pieces and everything is well combined, taking care to not over process.
  3. Take one spoonful of the mixture at a time, squeeze it tightly in your fist to make it compact, then gently roll it between the palms of your hands into a ball shape.
  4. Flatten the ball shape between the palms of your hands into a round cookie shape about 2 inches in diameter. Place the cookies onto the prepared cookie sheet.
  5. When finished preparing all the cookies, press down in the center of each cookie with your thumb to form a “thumbprint” or a space deep enough to hold the caramel filling.
  6. Transfer the cookie sheet to the freezer while you prepare the other steps.

Prepare the caramel filling:

  1. Add all ingredients for the caramel to a small bowl and stir until everything is well combined and smooth.
  2. Prepare the chocolate drizzle:
  3. Add all ingredients for the chocolate drizzle to a small saucepan and melt on lowest heat, stirring until it is completely melted and smooth, taking care to not let it burn.

Assembly:

  1. Remove the cookie sheet from the freezer.
  2. Take a small spoonful of the caramel filling and fill in the center of each cookie.
  3. Using a spoon, add the chocolate drizzle over the top of each cookie.
  4. Return the cookie sheet to the freezer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cookies and chocolate harden.
  5. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to serve, because they will get soft if left out at room temperature.
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