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Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cookies aka Turtle Cookies

Another recipe from Pinehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast in Bayfield, WI

I am a sucker for chocolate and caramel, one of the best combinations ever (okay, peanut butter and chocolate also may be a contender). When you add pecans to it, well I’m a goner. So, it is no surprise that when I came across a recipe from Taste of Home for Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint cookies, I had to try them. While I thought they were good, I couldn’t stop there. I had to make a few tweaks, which I think made them even more decadent (and they are decadent). The recipe calls for melted caramel candies, but I used my homemade caramel sauce for the ones pictured. The caramel from the candies set up (harden) more than my caramel sauce so they aren’t as messy to eat and much easier to stack. I tend to use the caramel from the caramel candies more because I make a lot of these cookies to give away as treats, gifts, or to have around for friends that might drop by or for a satisfying reward at the end of the day. These cookies have become part of our regular rotation of afternoon treats for our B&B guests. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. 

Happy Baking!

Mike & Becky
Pinehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast
83645 State Highway 13
Bayfield, WI 54814

Prep Time: 1 Hour and 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 12 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour and 37 Minutes
Servings: Makes 18-20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • COOKIES:
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (I use light, but either works)
  • 1 large egg, divided, room temperature
  • 2 TBLSP buttermilk (any milk will work)
  • 1/2 TBLSP vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • FILLING:
  • 12-14 caramel candies, unwrapped
  • 3 TBLSP heavy whipping cream
  • DRIZZLE:
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Using a mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add egg yolk, buttermilk and vanilla and beat until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt. On low speed, add flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix just until combined. Cover dough and refrigerate for at least one hour.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the egg whites in a shallow bowl. Pour pecans onto a plate. Using a medium scoop (about 1.5 tablespoon), scoop out 18 to 20 cookies and roll into balls. Dip each ball into the egg whites and then into the pecans to coat. Place on cookie sheet. Once all the cookies are covered in pecans, press a spoon, the end of a spatula, or your gloved thumb into each cookie to form a well. Bake 11-12 minutes.

  3. In a saucepan, melt the caramel candies with the heavy cream on low heat and stir until completely melted. Fill each cookie well with caramel.

  4. Once the cookies and caramel are cooled, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Place melted chocolate in a small baggie, snip a corner and drizzle over cooled cookies. Once the drizzle has hardened, these cookies are ready to eat. Enjoy!

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