The Great Cookie Experiment – Caramel Turtle Cookies

Caramel Turtle Cookies

Turtles are a fabulous candy.  You may be familiar with them- caramel poured over pecans, then drizzled with chocolate.  The pecans end up looking like a head and legs of a turtle, hence their name.  This recipe takes the turtle candy and turns it into a cookie.  Take that caramel, and instead of just dumping it on the pecans, instead wrap some cookie dough around it and bake it.  Then frost that outer cookie crust with a chocolate glaze.  The result is a buttery cookie taste, with a surprise caramel center, crunchy nuts, and a hint of chocolate.  Overall a very pleasing combination!

I still don’t think it improves upon Turtles.  I would take the candy any day over this cookie.  While I loved the cookie wrapped in the caramel, I don’t know that it did anything to enhance the pecans, or even blend well with them.  The chocolate glaze was just that- a weak cocoa glaze which can’t be compared to dipped chocolate, or even a good chocolate frosting.

Absolutely make this cookie!  Leave out the pecans completely, and just wrap the cookie dough around the caramel.  Yum.  Find your very most favorite chocolate frosting, or even melt some chocolate and use that to coat the cookie.  It will be a hit at any event!  Just don’t call them Turtles.

A note on making the recipe:  The cookie calls for five pecans PER cookie.  Pecans aren’t cheap right now.   Actually, they’re never cheap, even at Thanksgiving when they’re slightly discounted.  I’m very jealous of my husband’s uncle who lives out east and owns a pecan orchard.  Sigh.  Since I don’t have access to said pecan orchard, when you make 32 cookies, and it calls for 5 pecans each, suddenly you’re paying a lot of money for this cookie.  I used one pecan.  The little turtle only has a head poking out.  No legs.  I think it actually worked better this way.

Turtle cookies

Caramel Turtle Cookies

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup butter, softened

2 Tbl water

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cup flour

1/8 tsp salt

Pecan Halves

8 caramels, each cut into fourths

Chocolate Glaze

Mix brown sugar, butter water and vanilla.  Stir in flour and salt until dough holds together (if dough is dry, stir in 1-2 tsp water).  Heat oven to 350.  For each cookie, group 5 pecan halves (or one if you’re cheap like me or if you don’t own a pecan orchard)  to form head and four legs like a turtle.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Shape dough by teaspoonfuls around caramel pieces.  Press firmly onto center of each group of pecans.  Bake until set but not brown, 12-15 minutes.  Cool.  Dip tops of cookies in chocolate glaze.


1 cup powdered sugar

1 Tbl water

1 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 tsp vanilla.

Beat powdered sugar, 1 Tbl water, chocolate, and vanilla until smooth.  If necessary, stir in water 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency.  Makes 32.


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