Vegan Turtle Bites

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.

Turtle Bites

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Substitution

  • Cacao powder: unsweetened cocoa powder or carob powder

Variations

  • 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.

Chef’s Tips

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

Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Store in a glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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