Chocolate Turtle Cookies combine all of the flavors of the classic turtle candy: chocolate, caramel, and pecans. The caramel bits are soft and sweet – a perfect pairing for the crunchy pecan crust.
Chocolate turtle cookies are a fantastic recipe any time you’re looking for a rich, crunchy cookie. These soft chocolate cookies are filled with chewy caramel bits and rolled in crunchy chopped pecans.
Cookies are a great treat for the holidays, and they are easy to make ahead of time. I like to make and freeze cookie dough, so that I can easily thaw as much or little as I’d like.
This way, you can focus on friends and family during the holidays, instead of spending your days in the kitchen.
Caramel Bits for Turtle Cookies
For this recipe, I used Caramel Bits, which can be found on Amazon, or at Target, Walmart, or Kroger, to name a few places. Caramel bits are small, round, unwrapped caramel pieces that are ready to add to your cookie dough.
If you can’t find caramel bits at your local store, you can also use caramel squares and roll them into the middle of the chocolate dough. Or, you can slice the caramel squares into pieces if you’d like the same effect as the caramel bits.
To begin making your cookies, gather your ingredients.
For this recipe, you’ll need room temperature butter and eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, caramel bits, all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, milk, and chopped pecans.
Room temperature butter and eggs are needed because they will easily incorporate with the rest of your ingredients, making a smooth and creamy dough.
For full, detailed directions with measurements, see the recipe card below, or use the “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page.
First, add your butter and sugars to a large bowl. Mix until creamy, then add your eggs, vanilla, and milk. Mix again until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
In a separate bowl, sift or whisk together all of your dry ingredients. Then, slowly mix your dry ingredients into your butter mixture.
Last, add your caramel bits into the dough and stir to incorporate.
Cover the bowl, or form your dough into a disc and wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate for an hour (up to 24 hours). This give your flavors time to meld as well as firm up your dough to make it easy to roll into balls without being sticky.
While your oven is preheating, Shape your dough into about 1.5 tablespoon sized balls and roll the balls in your chopped pecans.
I find it easiest to roll the balls in the pecans on a hard surface (like a counter top). This helps press the pecans into your dough so they’re less likely to fall off.
After your cookies are done baking, you may notice some of the caramel bits may have melted and deformed the shape of your cookies. You can leave them as is, if this doesn’t bother you. Or, use a spatula and gently reshape your cookies while they’re still hot.
More Chocolate Cookies
Looking for more chocolate cookie recipes? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Dutch Cocoa Cookies
- Hot Cocoa Cookies
- Mint Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Sprinkle Monster Cookies
- Whoopie Pies
Caramel and Pecan Chocolate Turtle Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 11 ounces caramel bits
- 1 1/2 cups pecans chopped
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Cream together until fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk (or sift) together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
- Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined.
- Add caramel bits and stir until just combined.
- Cover bowl or wrap dough in wax paper. Chill for at 1 hour in the refrigerator. Refrigerating will help the flavors meld and also create a firmer dough to roll into balls.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Scoop dough using a 1.5 tablespoon scoop or shape by hand into 1.5 inch balls. Roll balls in the chopped pecans.
- Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until tops have started to crack. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Your cookies will keep for 5-7 days in a sealed container. To help keep cookies fresh, you can place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. Replace the bread slice as needed.
- You can keep raw cookie dough in the refrigerator for 3 days. Cookie dough balls (and baked cookies) freeze well, up to 3 months in a sealed plastic container or freezer bag. Allow frozen balls to thaw for up to 10 minutes on the baking sheet before baking, or add 1-2 minutes to the baking time.
- If you can’t find caramel bits at your local store, you can also use caramel squares and roll them into the middle of the chocolate dough. Or, you can slice the caramel squares into pieces if you’d like the same effect as the caramel bits.