Today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day! Is there anything that can’t be improved by a layer of luscious dark chocolate? We’re celebrating this “holiday” with vegan Turtle Bites from Practically Raw Desserts by Amber Shea Crawley. In this recipe, oozy caramel is encased in a sugar-free chocolate shell and topped with crunchy raw pecans. These decadent confections would be a welcome addition to any treat box or cookie tray this holiday season.
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1/2 cup melted cacao butter
- 30 drops liquid stevia (or equivalent sweetener of choice)
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 batch Ooey Gooey Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
- 18 dry pecan halves
- Line 18 cups of a mini muffin tin with paper liners. In a small bowl, whisk together the cacao powder, cacao butter, stevia, and salt until smooth. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of the chocolate mixture into each muffin cup (just enough to completely cover the bottom). Set the remaining chocolate mixture aside in a warm place. Place the pan in the freezer for about 5 minutes, until the chocolate is solid.
- Remove the muffin tin from the freezer and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon Ooey Gooey Caramel Sauce into the center of each cup, gently spreading it into an even layer. Place a pecan half onto each turtle. Spoon 1 to 2 more teaspoons of the remaining chocolate mixture onto each turtle to cover the caramel and nuts. Refrigerate or freeze until firm and set.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Cacao powder: unsweetened cocoa powder or carob powder
- Nut-Free Turtle Bites: Replace the pecans in each turtle bite with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hempseeds, or unsweetened flaked coconut.
- Turtle Cups: Use a regular-size muffin tin instead of a mini one to make larger turtles.
If the chocolate mixture begins to firm up be- fore you’re done using it, stick it in a warm dehydrator for a few minutes to melt it back down. A squeeze bottle makes an easy and efficient way to dole out the melted chocolate and/or the caramel sauce. If you have silicone mini muffin cups, use those here.
Yield: 18 Turtle Bites
Ooey Gooey Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes and drained
- 2/3 cup nondairy milk of choice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Store in a glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.