ABOUT THE RECIPE:
For years, my mom has been making her dairy-based version of Mom’s Turtle Cookie Squares for the holidays. Several years ago we decided to create a vegan version, which are as good (or maybe even better) than the original recipe.
Makes 16 to 20 cookies
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
1 cup pecan halves
2/3 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the crust, put 1/2 cup margarine, 1 cup brown sugar, and flour in a high-performance blender or food processor, and process until particles are fine, forming a loose dough. Pour into a nonstick, ungreased 8 x 12, rimmed baking pan. Press the dough into an even layer, using your hands. Arrange the pecan halves evenly over the unbaked crust.
To make the filling, put 2/3 cup margarine and 1/2 cup brown sugar into a small sauce pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to bubble. Pour the hot filling over the pecans and crust. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until the pecans are slightly golden.
Put the pan on a wire rack and immediately pour the chocolate chips over the crust. As the chips melt, spread the chocolate evenly over the top of the hot crust. (If the chocolate chips do not melt completely, put the pan back in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute to melt.) Cool for 30 minutes and cut into 16 to 20 cookie squares. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the cookies will keep for four days.