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Turtle Cookie Bars (gluten-free option)

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) white whole wheat flour or 1 1/2 cups (207 grams) of Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Flour
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (138 grams) pecans or walnuts, chopped to about 1/4 inch (2/3 cm)
  • 1 cup (170 grams) dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons refined coconut oil (unrefined is fine if you don't mind a little coconut taste)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line an 8 × 8-inch (20 × 20 cm) baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on opposite ends.
  • Prepare the crust. In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the salt and flour. The mixture will resemble crumbs and will not come together as dough. Press firmly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Prepare the topping. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, and then add the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil while stirring almost constantly. Boil for 90 seconds, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in the pecans. Pour the caramel nut mixture over the crust and bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until the caramel is bubbly.
  • Put the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds, until melted. Spread over the bars.
  • Let cool, cover and store at room temperature for up to 5 days. Can also be frozen.