Dive into the deliciousness of our Chocolate Turtle Cookies! Packed with cocoa goodness, chewy caramel centers, and a chocolate drizzle, these cookies are a breeze to make and a delight for any occasion!
Turtles are a confectionary combination of pecans, caramel, and chocolate. They're typically made by placing clusters of pecans onto a bed of gooey caramel and topping them off with a luscious chocolate coating. Their name refers to the shape, as the chocolate on top looks like a turtle shell. This recipe for chocolate turtle cookies captures the essence of the original turtles in a tasty cookie form.
The rich cocoa powder provides a chocolatey taste that forms the base of the cookie dough. A touch of corn syrup adds a subtle hint of caramel-like sweetness that complements the star of the show— the homemade caramel! Chopped pecans bring a crunch and nutty flavor to each bite, while the flaky sea salt adds a touch of savory balance, while a drizzle of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips takes these chocolate turtle cookies to a whole new level of decadence.
These chocolate cookies look fancy, but they are surprisingly easy to make! Whether you're hosting a dinner party, celebrating a milestone, or simply craving a yummy dessert, turtle cookies are the perfect choice. They are versatile enough to be served at birthday parties, holiday gatherings, or even as a homemade gift!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The texture of these cookies is irresistible - they are soft and chewy on the inside with a slight crispness on the outside. This contrast in textures adds a surprise to each bite!
- With simple instructions and readily available ingredients, you can whip up a batch of these cookies in no time.
- Whether hosting a cozy gathering, attending a potluck, or simply treating yourself, these cookies are guaranteed to hit!
Ingredients For Chocolate Turtle Cookies
- Butter - Adds richness and moisture to the cookie dough, resulting in a tender, buttery texture.
- Sugar - The combination of brown and white sugars provides sweetness and contributes to the overall texture of the cookies.
- Vanilla Extract - Enhances the flavor of the cookies, adding a warm and aromatic note that complements the chocolate and caramel.
- Light Corn Syrup Adds a sweetness touch and helps keep the cookies moist and soft.
- Eggs - Act as a binding agent, helping to hold the dough together and providing structure to the cookies.
- Salt - Enhances the flavors in the recipe, balancing the sweetness of the sugars.
- Baking Soda - Helps the cookies to rise and gives them a slightly lighter texture.
- Cornstarch - Contributes to the tender and crisp texture of the cookies, making them melt in your mouth.
- Cocoa Powder - Provides a rich chocolate flavor in the base of the cookies.
- All-Purpose Flour - Serves as the base ingredient, providing structure and body to the cookie dough.
- Egg White - Acts as a glue to help the chopped pecans adhere to the cookie dough.
- Chopped Pecans - Adds texture, crunch, and a delightful nuttiness to the cookies.
- Werther's Caramels - These famous caramels are melted and used to fill the indentations in the turtle cookies, creating a gooey and sweet caramel center.
- Heavy Cream - Heavy cream is used to melt the caramels and the chocolate drizzle, adding richness and smoothness to both components.
- Flaky Sea Salt - Flaky sea salt is sprinkled on the cookies, providing a hint of savory contrast to the sweetness.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips - Gets melted and drizzled over the caramel-filled cookies, adding a layer of chocolate and completing the classic turtle flavor combination.
How To Make Chocolate Turtle Cookies
Prepare for baking: Preheat oven to 350℉—line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Mix the wet ingredients: Cream together butter and sugars using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until it becomes light and creamy. Next, add in the eggs, vanilla, and light corn syrup. Mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients: While the mixer is on low, slowly add salt, baking soda, cornstarch, and cocoa powder. Once everything is mixed well, slowly add the flour until combined. Refrain from overworking.
Assemble the cookies: Scoop the dough into your hand using a 2-inch cookie scoop. Roll the dough into a ball. Place the dough balls in the whisked egg white. Next, roll the dough in the chopped pecans. Place the pecan-coated balls onto the prepared cookie sheet. Using a teaspoon, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
Bake and cool: Bake for 15-18 minutes. Once the cookies are done, remove them from the oven and cool completely before adding caramel and chocolate.
Make the caramel: Microwave the unwrapped caramels and heavy cream on low for 30-second intervals. Stirring between each interval. Continue doing this until the caramel has melted. Carefully scoop a teaspoon full of caramel into the indentation on each cookie.
Add the chocolate: Melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream on low for 20-second intervals, stirring between intervals until the chocolate has melted. Using a small sandwich bag, make a small cut in the corner. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel-filled cookies.
Set and enjoy: Let each cookie rest until the caramel fully sets. Serve and Enjoy!
- Room temperature ingredients are key to achieving the best cookie dough. Ensure your butter is at room temperature before creaming it with the sugars. Room-temperature eggs will mix more easily and evenly into the dough, resulting in a smoother texture.
- When measuring your flour, avoid packing it tightly into the measuring cup. Instead, gently spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a straight edge. This will help prevent the cookies from becoming dense and dry.
- To create the perfect indentation for the caramel filling, gently press the back of a teaspoon into the center of each cookie. This will create a well for the melted caramel to pool in, resulting in a beautiful and gooey center.
- Allow the turtle cookies to cool completely before drizzling them with melted chocolate. If the cookies are still warm, the chocolate will run off the sides and not set properly.
- For an extra nutty twist, replace the chopped pecans with chopped walnuts or almonds, or add all three to the mix.
- Add a refreshing twist by incorporating ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract into the cookie dough. The cool and invigorating flavor of mint combined with the rich chocolate and caramel will create a minty flavor combination that works well together.
- Mix ½ cup of chocolate chips into the cookie dough along with the cocoa powder. This will create a double dose of chocolate goodness.
- Swirl ¼ cup of creamy peanut butter into the melted caramel before filling the cookies for a peanut butter cup flavor.
- Use other types of chocolate to drizzle on top, including white chocolate or milk chocolate chips.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Allow the turtle cookies to cool completely, then place them in an airtight container at room temperature. They can be stored for up to 5 days. Layer the cookies with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.
Freezing: Place the cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the cookies for about an hour or until they are firm. Once the cookies are firm, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to enjoy the cookies, remove the desired amount from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
Turtle Cookies FAQs
Yes, you can substitute the light corn syrup with an equal amount of honey or maple syrup. Keep in mind that the flavor profile and texture may vary slightly.
If you prefer homemade caramel, you can make a batch by melting 1 cup of granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it turns a deep amber color. Then, carefully whisk in ½ cup of heavy cream and continue to cook until the caramel is smooth and thickened. Be cautious, as the mixture will bubble vigorously. Allow it to cool slightly before filling the cookies.
Yes, you can use dark chocolate if you prefer a richer and more intense chocolate flavor. Simply replace the semi-sweet chocolate chips with an equal amount of dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate. Follow the exact instructions for melting and drizzling over the cookies.
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Chocolate Turtle Cookies
- ¾ Cup Werthers Caramels unwrapped
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350℉—line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cream together butter and sugars using a stand mixer until it becomes light and creamy.
- Next, add in the eggs, vanilla, and light corn syrup. Mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- While the mixer is on low, slowly add salt, baking soda, cornstarch, and cocoa powder. Once everything is mixed well, slowly add in the flour.
- Scoop the dough into your hand using a 2-inch cookie scoop. Roll the dough into a ball. Place the dough balls in the whisked egg white. Next, roll the dough in the chopped pecans. Place the pecan-coated balls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
- Using a teaspoon, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes.
- Once the cookies are done, remove them from the oven and cool them completely.
- Microwave the unwrapped caramels and heavy cream on low for 30-second intervals. Stirring between each interval. Continue doing this until the caramel is melted.
- Carefully scoop a teaspoon full of caramel into the indentation on each cookie.
- Melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream on low for 20-second intervals, stirring between intervals until the chocolate is melted.
- Using a small sandwich baggie, make a small cut in the corner. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel-filled cookies.
- Let each cookie rest until the caramel fully sets. Serve and Enjoy!
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.