Medjool Date Turtles

Makes 12

We just love the combination of dark chocolate, toasty nuts and silky caramel in a classic turtle. In this healthy spin on the iconic treat, we sub the caramel layer for a smashed, sun-sweetened medjool date. The caramel-like sweetness of the dates offers a natural alternative to the traditionally sugar-loaded turtle. Make a batch in advance and then store in the fridge or freezer for late-night sugar cravings and after-school snacks.


  • 12 Rancho Meladuco Medjool dates
  • 1 cup whole roasted nuts, such a peanuts, cashews, pecans or almonds
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Using a sharp paring knife, cut a lengthwise slit along the top of each date. Discard the pits. Using your hand or the bottom of a glass, smash the dates into a flat circle. 

Press 5 to 7 nuts into each date and transfer to a parchment paper-lined plate or quarter sheet pan. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, microwave half of the chopped chocolate on HIGH for 30 seconds. Repeat until it’s beginning to melt, about 1 minute. Add the remaining ½ of the chocolate and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly.

Spoon the chocolate onto each turtle and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Return to the freezer and chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Enjoy!

MAKE AHEAD The turtles can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month. Let the chocolate firm up in the freezer before transferring them to a separate container.

recipe and photo by Julia Heffelfinger

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