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Turtle Cookies

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close up shot of Turtle Cookies stacked on top each other
Enjoy our chocolate turtle cookies when you have a craving for ooey-gooey caramel and soft, chewy chocolate cookies.
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Table of Contents
  1. Turtle Cookies Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Turtle Cookies Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

These delicious turtle cookies are soft and chewy with a rich chocolate and caramel flavor. The chocolate thumbprint cookies are coated with crunchy pecans and topped with a creamy puddle of gooey caramel for the ultimate in decadence.

close up shot of Turtle Cookies stacked on top each other

Turtle Cookies Ingredients

Turtle Cookies raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 1½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 30 caramels
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, for chocolate drizzle

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CARAMEL: You can also use homemade caramel in this turtle cookie recipe. You want a caramel that is thick enough to set but not hard, which would make it difficult to bite into.

How to Make This Turtle Cookies Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

STEP TWO: Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

STEP THREE: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside. 

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Since these are thumbprint cookies, using just a small amount of baking powder helps the cookies to retain their compact thumbprint shape.

flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder stirred in a bowl

STEP FOUR: In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

STEP FIVE: Beat in one egg plus one egg yolk (reserve the whites) and vanilla until well mixed.

egg and egg yolk and vanilla blended with the baking powdered mixture in a bowl

STEP SIX: Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat just until well mixed. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

dry ingredients poured into the wet ingredients and blended together in a bowl

STEP SEVEN: Use a 1½ tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough. Roll into balls between your hands.

STEP EIGHT: Whisk the reserved egg white in a small bowl until very frothy/foamy.

STEP NINE: Coat the dough ball in frothy egg whites, then roll in the chopped pecan pieces.

PRO TIP:

The egg whites help the pecans to stick to the dough ball and stay in place while baking.

dough ball coated with frothy egg whites and chopped pecans

STEP TEN: Place each of the chocolate cookie dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart.

STEP ELEVEN: Using the back of a teaspoon, press about halfway down into each cookie to create an indent for the caramel.

create an indent in the middle of the cookies

STEP TWELVE: Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until the bottoms look slightly browned. 

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cookies at the lower end of the recommended baking time. 

STEP THIRTEEN: Remove the cookies from the oven. If the centers have puffed while baking, use your teaspoon to gently re-press the indentation. 

STEP FOURTEEN: Heat the caramels and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time in the microwave. Stir until smooth.

carmel melted in a bowl

STEP FIFTEEN: Spoon the melted caramel filling in the center of each baked cookie’s indentation. Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.

melted caramel spooned in the center of the cookies

STEP SIXTEEN: Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, heating for 30 seconds at a time and stirring between, until melted. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cooled cookies.

chocolate drizzled over the cookies on a tray

How To Serve

These incredible cookies would be a welcome addition to any holiday cookie tray. They would also make a tasty afternoon snack that would get gobbled up in no time. Serve them with our extra creamy homemade hot chocolate.

Craving more delicious recipes? Our Twix cookies and chocolate pudding cookies are two extra chocolatey treats.

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: Store these easy turtle cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

IN THE FREEZER: Freeze this chewy chocolate cookie for up to 3 months, sealed in an airtight container.

close up shot of Turtle Cookies stacked on top each other

These rich chocolate cookies taste just like turtle candies in a delightful cookie form. No one will be able to resist the rich chocolate or the creamy caramel centers. We recommend trying one before you share them with anyone else because we guarantee they will disappear fast!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use a different type of nut for this recipe?

You could use walnuts instead of pecans to coat the outside of these cookies.

Can I freeze these pecan turtle cookies?

These turtle thumbprint cookies can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

What are thumbprint cookies?

Thumbprint cookies are ones where the dough is rolled into balls, flattened slightly, and then, using your thumb, a slight indent is made. This is then filled with a sweet filling such as jam or caramel.

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close up shot of Turtle Cookies stacked on top each other

Turtle Cookies

5 from 25 votes
Enjoy our chocolate turtle cookies when you have a craving for ooey-gooey caramel and soft, chewy chocolate cookies.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 56 minutes
Servings 30

Ingredients
  

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecans, finely chopped
  • 30 caramels
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, for chocolate drizzle

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Beat in one egg plus one egg yolk (reserve the whites) and vanilla until well mixed.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat just until well mixed. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  • Use a 1½ tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough. Roll into balls between your hands.
  • Whisk the reserved egg white in a small bowl until very frothy/foamy.
  • Coat the dough ball in frothy egg whites and then roll in the chopped pecans.
  • Place each ball on the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
  • Using the back of a teaspoon, press about halfway down into each cookie to create an indent for the caramel.
  • Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until the bottom edges look slightly browned.
  • Remove cookies from the oven. If the centers have puffed while baking, use your teaspoon to gently re-press the indentation.
  • Heat the caramels and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time in the microwave. Stir until smooth.
  • Spoon the melted caramel in the center of each baked cookie’s indentation. Allow cookies to cool completely.
  • Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, heating for 30 seconds at a time and stirring between, until melted. Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled cookies.

Notes

  • Since these are thumbprint cookies, using just a small amount of baking powder helps the cookies to retain their compact thumbprint shape.
  • The egg whites help the pecans to stick to the dough ball and stay in place while baking.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cookies at the lower end of the recommended baking time.

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Cindy Wisdom says

    5 stars
    OMG! These look so fabulous! I would use pecans, sometimes I think walnuts can have a bitter aftertaste, besides I LOVE pecans!

  2. Roshunda Simmons says

    5 stars
    These cookies look great, we are having family night tonight watching movies and I’m making these delicious cookies for the family. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

  3. Pamela J Springs says

    Would you use jarred or homemade caramel sauce for these cookies? PROBABLY JARRED
    When would you serve these turtle cookies? HOLIDAYS
    Would you use walnuts or pecans for these cookies? WALNUTS
    Have you made thumbprint cookies before? YES

  4. Tabitha l VanHorn says

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try these. I would use store bought carmel. I never made homemade carmel. New addition to the holiday cookie lineup.

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