Chewy Turtle Cookies

Pops of sweet sticky dates and chocolate chips encased in chewy grain free pecan and almond meal cookie mound.

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Possibly my favourite cookie of all time…and that is really saying something! I’ve officially made four batches of them…partly because I love them so much and also because I failed to take any snaps the first few rounds and ultimately decided they just needed to be shared.

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I wanted something sweet with a little chew, containing the sought after cookie favourite chocolate chips… Turtle cookies! I’m not sure we even have such a thing in Ireland but the combination of nuts, chocolate and caramel is always going to be an awesome one no matter what name you slap on it!

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The cookies themselves are a combination of almond meal (meal, not flour!) and pecan meal, the latter of which was even more coarsely ground.

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I did have one failure batch. I didn’t refrigerate the dough on the first round and while they tasted amazing they were decidedly flat and far to thin for my liking.

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Thirty minutes in the fridge does them the world of good. The end result after just 10 minutes of baking (once allowed to cool, don’t be tempted to remove them from the tray too soon!)  is a soft yet chewy cookie mound that melts in the mouth and tastes incredibly moreish. Try stopping at one…it is near impossible!

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But they’re cookies you can feel good about eating! Paleo compliant and vegan friendly, they’re so far from devilish on the nutrition front you could even grab a few for breakfast.

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I have a couple stashed in the freezer from the last batch. As I type I’m contemplating digging them straight out to thaw as a bed time snack, glass of cold almond milk on the side. Does anyone else only ever crave a glass of milk, dairy or non dairy, when it comes to cookies?!? It’s a match made in heaven!

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Little nuggets of pure beauty. I urge you to make these. They’re so incredibly easy to make you’d be mad not too!

Any favourite paleo/vegan cookie recipes out there? Link me up!

Ultimate Paleo Turtle Cookies

by Michelle Hunt

Prep Time: 5 minutes + 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: bake breakfast snack gluten-free grain free paleo vegan almond meal coconut oil pecan nuts dates


Ingredients (18 – 20 cookies)

  • 1 cup (100g) almond meal
  • 1 cup (120g) pecans coarsely ground
  • 1/4 cup (4 tbsp/80g) honey
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 Medjool Dates pitted
  • 1/3 cup (60g) mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (55g) coconut oil melted


Mix together ground pecans, baking soda, salt, and almond meal. Toss in chopped Medjool dates.

Mix together melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract.

Add wet to dry and stir to combine.

Stir/fold in chocolate chips.

Place mixture in to the fridge in the bowl for 30 minutes. Don’t skip this step or the cookies will be spread out thinly as they bake.

Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

Divided the mixture in to 18 – 20 mounds, pressing down EVER SO SLIGHTLY with the palm of your hand. The texture is best when you keep them small and chunky.

Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pan after five minutes to ensure they cook evenly.

Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Store in a seal tight container for 4-5 days or freeze for up to one month.

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  1. Oh wow these look insanely delicious! Shame I don’t have any pecans as I would have made these this week. They will just have to go on my next shopping list 🙂

  2. Hi I love these cookies, they taste like they are made with a pound of butter! So delicious. However no matter how long I: chill the dough, the cookies always spread out. I did use a mini muffin pan and that yielded cookies that resemble your photos. Also chocolate chips contain milk, so not dairy free. I use cacao nibs in mine and it gives a nice “mocha” flavor. Very easy to make and super yummy. They fool all my friends and they can’t believe they are gluten,, sugar, dairy and butter free!

    1. You can buy milk free chocolate chips (! 🙂 But I do love cacao nibs too, not to everyone’s taste, but I love the bitter taste of cacao. Glad you love the flavour, pity their spreading on you. I’ve made them about 10 times over with the same result so maybe it’s just altitude, climate!? Or just ingredients from a different source! Try adding 1 tbsp ground flax it might make them more sturdy for you!