Turtle Cookies

Welcome to Day 2 of Christmas Cookie Week 2013!

Yesterday I brought you Butter Tart Squares with A Shortbread Cookie Crust, and today I bring you Turtle Cookies.  Oh yes.  I went there.  Turtles are the best…and in cookie form…oh my.  Hold me back.

Turtle Cookies {A Pretty Life}

I can’t even tell you how good these are.  You just need to make them to find out.

Turtle Cookies {A Pretty Life}

They’re perfectly soft and chewy and crunchy and chocolatey and nutty and caramelly all at the same time.

Turtle Cookies {A Pretty Life}

These little delights didn’t make it more than 2 days around these parts.  They mysteriously disappeared by the end of the day Saturday…hmmmm…and no one would admit to a thing.  Must have been Mr. Nobody at it again.

Turtle Cookies {A Pretty Life}

But seriously, just look at them…SO gosh darn delicious.


Turtle Cookies
  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 egg, separated (see notes)
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1¼ cups pecans, chopped finely
  • 16 soft caramel candies
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
Making the Cookie Dough:
  1. In a bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.
  2. With a mixer beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Then add the egg yolk (see notes), milk, and vanilla and combine.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Now it’s time to chill the dough: wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is firm, about 1 hour. OR put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Putting the cookies together:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Whisk 2 egg whites in bowl until they are frothy. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, place the chopped pecansl. Set aside.
  5. Using your hands, roll the dough into 1 inch balls, then dip them in the egg whites, then roll in the chopped pecans.
  6. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  7. Then using a ½ tsp measuring spoon, make an indentation in centre of each ball (see above picture).
  8. Bake the cookies until set, about 10-12 minutes.
Preparing the caramel:
  1. Just as the cookies are done baking, it’s time to make the caramel sauce.
  2. Microwave the caramels and cream in a bowl for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring a couple of times during the melting process.
  3. Once cookies are baked, remove them from the oven, and gently repress the existing indentations (they will have bubbled up a bit and you need an indentation for the caramel).
  4. Fill each indentation with ½ tsp of the caramel mixture.
  5. Cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Regarding the separated egg…I didn’t separate my egg…I actually just added the whole egg to the cookie recipe, and the cookies turned out amazing! I think the addition of just the yolk is supposed to (in theory) make the cookie more soft. The choice is up to you really, but my cookies were perfectly soft. :)

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen via Pixelated Crumb

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Turtle Cookies {A Pretty Life}

So go ahead!  Get your bake on!  These are worth the effort, trust me.

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Here are all the cookies I made for this years Christmas Cookie week:


Butter Tart Squares with Shortbread Cookie Crust  |  Turtle Cookies

Snickerdoodles  |  Peanut Butter Balls  |  Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies

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For even more cookie inspiration check out recipes from these great bakers that I teamed up with this week!  So much cookie fun all for you!


Angie from Echoes of Laughter
Julie from Sober Julie
Stacey from This Lil’ Piglet
Joann from Woman In Real Life
Jo-Anna from A Pretty Life In The Suburbs
Grace from Sense & Simplicity
Donna From An Anglo In Quebec
Ricki Jill from Art@Home

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Have a delicious day!Signature



  1. These look absolutely delicious!

  2. Okay, I am making them…pinning the post…. really, these are on my list!!

  3. Yum! Turtles are my fav Christmas chocolate and these look fabulous! Angie xo

  4. I haven’t quite started my Christmas baking but I am definitely getting lots of ideas…like these!!!

  5. They sound absolutely amazing! I can understand why they didn’t stick around long. :)

  6. My oldest daughter loves turtles (her sorority’s mascot is a turtle) so they sometimes serve turtle treats at her sorority house! I’ve pinned this on my Christmas group board that I share with her. These look fantastic!

    Ricki Jill

  7. You never cease to amaze me, Jo. Can’t wait til you write your first cookbook…


  8. Oh my goodness, what are you trying to do to me. These look so good too. Now I know yours didn’t make it past Day 2, but I wonder if they freeze well. It might almost be worth making another batch – in the name of research and all.

    • Sorry for not getting back to you sooner about this…I think they would freeze just fine, but without putting the caramel in. I would add the caramel right after freezing them.

  9. Elaine Papworth says:

    I am going to make these tomorrow; I expect they will be gone by tomorrow afternoon. Oh darn, I’ll have to make them again…..and again….and again….

  10. hey! i found your blog through cook’s illustrated’s facebook page today. congrats! and i love your blog!


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