It’s Almost Fathers Day!
For Father’s Day this year, I wanted to make a healthy dessert that had my husband’s favorite flavors in it, and was also healthier and tasted delicious!
Does anyone else find it hard to make a healthy dish that you husband or father actually likes???
I take this as my personal challenge every time I am coming up with a recipe. My husband, Cody, is a tough food critic. All my recipes are tested on him and my kids to make sure they are really delicious. If I get the seal of approval from him, I know the recipe is a good one!
I went to work trying to find ideas for a healthy dessert recipe. Should I do a brownie recipe? No, my previous attempts at a healthier brownie were met with …. criticism, shall we say. How about a cheesecake? I definitely want to do a cheesecake because my husband loves cheesecake, but I didn’t have by cream cheese in the house.
So after some in-depth research, (aka late night Pinterest searching), I realized that I needed to make the ultimate candy-inspired cookie…. the Turtle cookie!
What is a Turtle Cookie?
You may have heard of Turtle candies before. They contain caramel and pecans, which are then coated in chocolate. They are delicious and thoroughly addictive! Originally these candies were the shape of a turtle, hence the name, but over time the “turtle” flavors have been incorporated into everything from cakes to pies and even, candied apples!
I have seen several Turtle cookie recipes but I wanted to make my own version, using the gluten free sugar cookie recipe that I’ve shared before.
Adapting this sugar cookie recipe with a turtle flavor spin turned out to be so easy! It’s such a versatile and forgiving cookie dough that all I had to do was mix in chocolate chips, chopped pecans and chopped dates.
Did you say dates???
Yes, I said dates! So usually turtles have caramel in it but to be honest, I did not feel like trying to find or create a healthy caramel recipe! So instead, I used the next best thing – dates! To me, dates are a secret ingredient! They give a caramely flavor to any recipe and they are a little sticky too. This is literally the easiest way to add a caramel-like sticky sweetness to the cookies. I also love that dates will add a little more fiber to the cookies. Dates are also high in antioxidants and have been shown to help prevent oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.
For the chocolate chips, I’m using my favorite Lily’s Chocolate Chips, which are sweetened with stevia. I prefer to use these chocolate chips since this chocolate tastes amazing while also having the health benefit of not adding more sugar to my family’s diet. Lastly, I am using pecan pieces in this cookie recipe. I wanted to use raw pecans because I prefer the subtle flavor and texture and the pecan pieces will become slightly toasted as the cookies bake.
The Best Review Ever
I made these cookies and waited for my husband to come home from work to try them. After dinner and getting the kids bathed and in bed, he was finally able to try the cookies.
He took one bite and said, “these cookies are … good”.
He said it in a pleasing tone but not totally amazed. Yet.
But as he kept eating, I could see him nodding and looking at the cookie. Then eagerly taking another bite, and another.
“These cookies are really good”.
He reached for a second cookie to take back with him from the kitchen to the couch. I could hear him mmm-ing as he ate the cookie. He kept looking at the cookie as if he was trying to figure out what was in them. Or perhaps what was making them so tasty.
He polished off the second cookie and turned around to tell me the best review ever.
“Those cookies are REALLY GOOD!”
And that’s when I knew the cookie recipe was good enough for the blog!
I hope you make this recipe for the dads or father figures in your life! It gets the seal of approval from my husband aka a fair but firm food critic. So that means that these cookies are going to be awesome for the dad in your life.
If you make the recipe, make sure you snap a photo and tag me at @nourish_with_renata on IG or Facebook.
And a very special Happy Fathers Day to my dad, my father in law, and my husband and father of our kiddos, Cody… we love you!
This super simple and delicious cookie recipe is packed with pecans, dates and chocolate chips.
- 4 tbsp butter, softened
- 1/2 cup monkfruit sweetener or stevia
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup gluten free flour
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- 1/4 cup stevia sweetened chocolate chips, such as Lily’s.
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- 1 pinch fine salt
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Line or grease a cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and monkfruit sweetener/stevia.
Add in the egg, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Mix together till well combined.
Fold in the pecans, chocolate chips and dates into the cookie dough, till all the additions are spread evenly throughout the dough.
Scoop large tablespoons of the dough and place on a lined or greased cookie sheet.
Press down to flatten the top of each cookie. The cookie should be about 1/2” thick.
Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 mins or till starting to turn golden brown at the edges.
Cool on the tray for about 5 mins then serve, or store in an airtight container for up to one week.