Turtle Cookies are a baked, bite size brownie, loaded with pecans covering the outer rim then filled with a creamy caramel center for a total mouth watering holiday cookie! These turtle cookies are always a huge hit and gone in minutes of baking them.
The flavor combination of chocolate, caramel and nuts are amazing in a dessert! If you love the turtle combination try this Rolo Pretzel Turtle Recipe, Turtle Brownie, Turtle Pecan Bars, Frosted Turtle Brownies or Turtle Rice Krispie Treats.
The Christmas cookie baking continues over here at our house.
And I am pretty sure that our neighbors love me by now.
I can’t believe that I haven’t made these cookies before!
Turtle chocolates are my favorite kind of chocolates in the box.
And this cookie did a great job at representing my favorite chocolate!
It is a delicious chocolate cookie.
And I loved the pecan pieces that give the cookie great texture and that extra nutty flavor.
But hello! The best part was definitely when you bite into the delicious cookie and get the chewy caramel center.
These cookies look so pretty once they are baked.
A great cookie recipe to add to the holiday collection!
What is a turtle cookie?
Turtle cookies consist of chocolate, caramel and a nutty, usually pecans, combination.
These delicious flavorings are all made from the classic turtle chocolate candy that is found in candy boxes or during the holidays very popular.
The combination of chocolate and caramel just melts in your mouth being Oh.So. Good!
Then adding a crunchy texture can only enhance these turtle cookies to the next level.
We love how the flavors just blend so well and it is naturally perfect making this a sweet and savory cookie.
Add this turtle cookie recipe to your holiday cookie baking list this season!
What you need to make turtle cookies
- Flour: holds it all together.
- Cocoa powder: making the brownie, chocolate cookie.
- Salt: helps the cookies raise in the oven.
- Butter: thickens and adds a soft touch to the cookies.
- Sugar: add a little sweetness.
- Egg: separated, plus 1 additional egg white will help with the batter.
- Milk: smooth and creamy.
- Vanilla extract: just a hint and adds flavoring.
- Pecans: finely chopped and prepared for adding around the rim of the cookie.
- Caramel candies: unwrapped and melted.
- Heavy cream: rich and creamy to help smooth the caramel candies.
Chocolate Drizzle (optional):
- Semi-sweet chocolate: melted and drizzled over top the cookies.
- Shortening: aids in helping the chocolate become smooth and creamy while warming up.
How to make turtle cookies
- Whisk dry ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
- Mix together until fluffy: On high speed in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
- Add in dry ingredients: Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Prepare and make the cookie dough ball: Whisk egg white in a bowl until frothy. Roll cookie dough into one inch balls. Dip the cookie balls into the egg white and roll in the chopped pecans until outside is coated. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. With a teaspoon make a small indentation in each ball.
- Bake and prepare caramel filling: Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or until set. While they are baking prepare the caramel filling. Melt the caramel and heavy cream in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds until it is fully melted.
- Indent each turtle cookie and fill caramel: Once the cookies are baked, make the indentation again and using a teaspoon fill each indentation with the caramel. If drizzling with chocolate, melt the chocolate and shortening in the microwave, and scoop into a ziplock bag. Barely snip the corner and drizzle over the cookies. Yield 24 cookies
Variations of turtle cookies
- Chocolate: milk chocolate, dark chocolate or even white chocolate are fun ways to add some different flavors of sweetness.
- Nuts: try chopped walnuts, almonds or even macadamia nuts for the outer rim. If you are not a fan of nuts, go ahead and leave them out.
- Caramel: don’t have caramels on hand, try my Homemade Caramels recipe that will give you even better results!
- Extract: switch out vanilla extract for almond extract.
- Salt: add in extra sea salt or course salt for a salty and sweet treat!
Tips on making turtle cookies
- For a quicker turtle cookie recipe: Instead of making your cookies from scratch, you can make this turtle cookie recipe with a chocolate cake mix using 2 eggs and ½ cup of oil. Then simply follow the remainder of the instructions to help you complete your turtle cookies.
- Make an indent: Remember to use a teaspoon size to make a groove in the back of the cookie before you bake and then again after you bake your turtle cookies.
- Refrigerate: For best results refrigerate your dough in-between preparing and baking the turtle cookies. This will harden your dough and help the cookies from flattening in the oven. When butter is too warm, cookies tend to become flat and sometimes dry out if it is not cold. The colder the better!
- Avoid sticking: To avoid a messy turtle cookie, I like to use parchment paper or a lined baking sheet to help them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Storing turtle cookies
- How to store turtle cookies: turtle cookies can be stored in an airtight container or ziplock bag placed at room temperature or in the refrigerator. I would recommend if you are going to layer the cookies, to place a layer of parchment paper in between the layers to avoid the turtle cookies from becoming stuck together. These will last about 1 week at room temperature and about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Can you make turtle cookies ahead of time? Yes, these are great cookies to make ahead of time and can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Can you freeze turtle cookie dough? Yes! This is a great idea to get ahead of your holiday baking schedule. Simply make your turtle cookie dough and roll into balls then place on a baking sheet. Freeze these balls on the baking sheet for about 1 hour. This will harden them and help them from not sticking together. One the dough is completely frozen, place your turtle cookie dough balls in an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. When you are ready to bake, simply bake from frozen and continue on with the recipe. Add a few minutes longer to your baking time since they are frozen.
- Can you freeze turtle cookies? Yes, this is a great way to make several and store them for Christmas time. Follow the recipe and bake your turtle cookies. Once they are cooled completely place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. If you are layering your turtle cookies, it is best to add a layer of parchment paper or foil wrap to avoid them from sticking together. When ready to share your turtle cookies, simply take them out and thaw at room temperature. Enjoy!
Here are more cookies recipes to try
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- Cinnamon Roll Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Dipped Shortbread Cookies
- Snow Kiss Cookies (Snowball Cookies)
- Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg separated, plus 1 additional egg white
- 2 Tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup pecans finely chopped
- 14 soft caramel candies
- 3 Tablespoon heavy cream
Chocolate Drizzle (optional):
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon shortening
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
- On high speed in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Whisk egg white in a bowl until frothy. Roll cookie dough into one inch balls. Dip the cookie balls into the egg white and roll in the chopped pecans until outside is coated. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. With a teaspoon make a small indentation in each ball.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or until set. While they are baking prepare the caramel filling. Melt the caramel and heavy cream in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds until it is fully melted.
- Once the cookies are baked, make the indentation again and using a teaspoon fill each indentation with the caramel. If drizzling with chocolate, melt the chocolate and shortening in the microwave, and scoop into a ziplock bag. Barely snip the corner and drizzle over the cookies. Yield 24 cookies
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
I made these several times already and every time they come out great!! Yesterday I had posted a picture of them in a Facebook group and I got 270 requests for the recipe 🙂 I have been messaging people the link to this page for hours because we are not allowed to post them on that page, which I understand. That was a lot of work but I know people will be happy with the results 🙂 Great recipe!!!!
I thought these were just okay, but my 10 year old would’ve eaten the whole batch if I let her. To be fair, I am very picky about my brownies (don’t let the name fool you, that’s exactly what these are!) and the kid will eat any brownie she can lay her hands on. I love the idea and the method of dipping the cookie dough into the egg and rolling around in the chopped nuts, though, so I will try using another cookie/brownie dough recipe with the nut/filling/chocolate drizzle technique. Thanks for this recipe! I would never have thought to make turtle cookies had I not seen this.
These are, BY FAR, the BEST COOKIE ever!!! My 15 year old and I have made at least 5-6 batches.. I have the recipe memorized <3 Perfect for any party or work function and easy to make too! Will probably be making a couple more batches before the years over
Can you freeze these?
Yes, these are perfect for freezing!
These turtle cookies are amazing!! Definitely a show stopper and the best part they are easy to make!! Thanks Alyssa!!!!
I made these cookies for a family Christmas. Since it was a week between mixing and baking I made the dough and then put it on plastic wrap and wrapped tightly in a “log” shape. (Kinda like a giant tootsie roll) then into the fridge. You can also feeder it for up to a month or two and thaw overnight in the fridge. They baked very well! After I baked them I waited until completely cool, put them on a cookie sheet, wrapped it in plastic and froze them. Once frozen solid you can throw them all into a freezer bag or another container. They thawed on our 3 hour car ride and were a huge hit with the family! Making more for my boyfriend’s family this week!
What do we do with the other egg? The recipe doesn’t say to add it.
The egg white is in step 3 of the recipe. Hope that helps clarify it for you! XOXO
These look absolutely amazing! I am going to make them this week. Can you tell me if I can make the dough the night before I bake them? If so do I let them sit at room temp or do I just roll and bake accordingly?
Wondering how fresh these stay? Do the freeze well? I’m excited to try them
These do freeze well! They would be great to pull out and have a treat every few days…if you can resist;)!! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! XOXO
Love this recipe!! These cookies are always a hit at cookie exchanges.
These cookies were excellent!
What do you think? These would be different to make!
Can you use walnuts instead of pecans?