Homemade healthier turtles with a pretzel bottom | christmas treats | holiday treats | cookie box | vegan | date caramel | healthy snacks | vegan snacks | healthier holiday treat
Holidays,  Plant Powered,  Snacks,  Sweet Treats

Homemade healthier chocolate turtles

I have wanted to make chocolate turtles forever, I have worked on the recipe, but never had time to photograph it because these babies don’t last long.

Homemade healthier turtles with a pretzel bottom | christmas treats | holiday treats | cookie box | vegan | date caramel | healthy snacks | vegan snacks | healthier holiday treat
Homemade healthier turtles with a pretzel bottom | christmas treats | holiday treats | cookie box | vegan | date caramel | healthy snacks | vegan snacks | healthier holiday treat | vegan holiday treats

But this year we have so many treats in our house, we honestly couldn’t eat these all if we tried. So I made them, we ate some, we gave some and I photographed some, yippee!!!

So I’m not going to draw out this post, because you should go get the stuff to make these ASAP, I promise you won’t be sorry. They are INSANELY good. Plus, they are a bit better for you version too with no added sugar (obviously besides what’s in the chocolate) because the delicious caramel is made with dates. If your chocolate (and pretzels, yes pretzels) are vegan, the recipe is vegan too.

Why did I add pretzels? Because pretzels and chocolate and caramel are a match made in heaven, that’s why. And if you need them to be gluten-free, there are some great brands out there like Glutino.

Just look at ’em…

Homemade healthier turtles with a pretzel bottom | christmas treats | holiday treats | cookie box | vegan | date caramel | healthy snacks | vegan snacks | healthier holiday treat | vegan holiday treats
Homemade healthier turtles with a pretzel bottom | christmas treats | holiday treats | cookie box | vegan | date caramel | healthy snacks | vegan snacks | healthier holiday treat | vegan holiday treats
Homemade healthier turtles with a pretzel bottom | christmas treats | holiday treats | cookie box | vegan | date caramel | healthy snacks | vegan snacks | healthier holiday treat | vegan holiday treats
Homemade healthier turtles with a pretzel bottom | christmas treats | holiday treats | cookie box | vegan | date caramel | healthy snacks | vegan snacks | healthier holiday treat | vegan holiday treats
Homemade healthier turtles with a pretzel bottom | christmas treats | holiday treats | cookie box | vegan | date caramel | healthy snacks | vegan snacks | healthier holiday treat
Homemade healthier turtles with a pretzel bottom | christmas treats | holiday treats | cookie box | vegan | date caramel | healthy snacks | vegan snacks | healthier holiday treat

Homemade Healthier Chocolate Turtles

Yield: Approx. 40-48
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A pretzel base topped with rich and chewy date caramel, toasted pecans and decadent dark chocolate topped with smoked Maldon salt.

Ingredients

  • DATE CARAMEL
  • 2 cups pitted dates, (if they are hard soak for 15 min in warm water, and drain)
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-5 tbsp oat milk*
  • TURTLES
  • 40-48 Pretzels*
  • 2-3 cups toasted pecans
  • 300 grams of dark chocolate or chocolate of your choice (you may use chips, chunks, or bars, it doesn't matter)
  • smoked Maldon salt*

Instructions

  1. Layer two trays with parchment paper.
  2. Add dates to food processor and blend until completely broken up. Add coconut butter (see notes), vanilla and salt and process for 2 minutes. Next add oat milk (or any other milk, plant-based or regular) 1 tbsp at a time to give you the texture you want. If you want a harder caramel, you can omit it altogether. I added 4 tbsp. Put the caramel into the fridge until you're ready to use it.
  3. Melt the chocolate. In the microwave: melt for 30 seconds, remove and stir, melt again for another 30 seconds, remove and stir. Continue to melt at 30 second intervals until there's just a few tiny pieces left. Then stir rigorously until they have melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. Set aside. On the stovetop in a small heavy bottom pan, on medium heat, stirring consistently to make sure the chocolate doesn't burn. It only takes a couple minutes, once done, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Spoon caramel onto pretzel, and make a nice layer. Then press toasted pecans into the caramel. You can press the pecans in however you like. I used half a pecan for the head and broke two pecans lengthwise and used the four pieces for the arms/legs. Fill the tray and set in freezer. Then do the next tray. Remove the first tray from the freezer and replace with second.
  5. Spoon the melted chocolate on top and sprinkle with smoked salt (or other flaky salt). Put in refrigerator until chocolate sets. Repeat with second tray. They are best stored in fridge for up to a week, but I can guarantee they won't last that long.

Notes

*The coconut butter is not required, I like it because it adds a richness. You can sub coconut oil, however it isn't required - you can just remove it altogether if you want.

*Any milk will work, I prefer oat, but almond and soy work well too, coconut milk will change the flavour a bit. You can also just use water or reserve some of the date water from soaking and use that.

*This recipe is vegan IF you make sure both your pretzels and chocolate are vegan, Many pretzels are. You can also use gluten-free pretzels to make it gluten free too. I used unsalted pretzels.

*You do not have to use smoked Maldon salt, any flaky sea salt will do or you can omit the salt.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 260Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 371mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 5g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators and not from My Sweet Mess. Although we do attempt to provide as accurate nutritional information as possible, these figures are only estimates.

Also, if you want to leave out the pretzels (although I don’t know why you would), you can. Just make sure your caramel is thicker. That way you can roll it into a ball, and pat it down like you would a cookie. Then follow the recipe for the rest of the steps.

If you like these turtles and you’re looking for more holiday treats, here’s a couple you might like:

Peppermint brownies

Raw vegan chai spiced coconut bars

Easy decadent chocolate truffles

White chocolate cranberry orange muffins

And if you’ve made this or any other recipe, please comment on the post – I’d love to hear your thoughts., You can also post a picture to Instagram and tag me @mysweetmess and hashtag #mysweetmess so I can see what you’re making. And if you’re on Pinterest, please pin for others to see.

Happy Holidays and till the next recipe,

Kristen xo

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