Turtle cookies are fudgy, chewy cookies that are packed with silky melted chocolate and topped off with a crunchy pecan layer. The chocolate melts in the mouth and the pecan pieces along with caramel bits enhance the flavor further. This Southern turtle cookies recipe is simple, easy and requires a few ingredients. The best part is this turtle cookie recipe requires little effort to bake. Cookies can't get any better than this and this will be your new favorite cookie recipe.
Turtle cookies is a chewy chocolate cookie recipe with a layer of crunchy pecans and gooey caramel. The recipe has its roots in the Southern states of the US. The fudgy turtle cookies has three main parts - chocolate, caramel and pecans.
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe Works?
- It requires a few pantry-staple ingredients.
- These Turtle Cookies are super easy to bake.
- The cookies has three main elements chocolate, pecans and caramel.
- These chocolate turtle cookies are gooey and crunchy as well.
- The cookie base dough is fudgy and chewy.
- This is a super delicious cookie recipe.
- These delicious turtle cookies with melted caramel are always a huge hit.
- A best option for holiday cookie recipes or Christmas cookies.
The Name - Turtle Cookies
Turtles cookies or turtle candies got this name because of its shape. Notice how caramel and chocolate sit on the top with pecans showing up, it looks like shell of a little turtle. Hence the name.
Pro Tip # 1 - Room Temperature Ingredients
Always use room temperature ingredients (unless otherwise specified) for baking. Ingredients such as butter, eggs and other dairy ingredients like milk, sour cream, yogurt form an emulsion by trapping air inside the batter. The trapped air expands in the oven resulting in perfect baked treats.
- All-Purpose Flour: the base of these cookies.
- Brown sugar: adds a caramel-ish flavor to these turtle cookies.
- Chocolate Morsels: use semisweet chocolate chips for this recipe.
- Pecans: use high-quality pecans for best flavor.
- Butter: use unsalted butter and will be used in two separate parts.
Pro Tip # 2 - Digital Scale
Use a digital scale to measure all-purpose flour and other dry ingredients. To measure with cup, fluff up the all-purpose flour container using a spoon, then scoop out the flour with spoon into the measuring cup. Never scoop out of the container. It may result in more flour than required resulting in dense bakes.
- Preheat oven at 350 F. Use a 13 x 9 inch pan. Do not grease the pan.
- Take a medium bowl and add all-purpose flour, 1 cup brown sugar and ½ cup butter (softened). Beat it at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.
- Add the mixture in the pan and pat it down firmly. Set the pean halves on the crust and set aside.
- Take a small saucepan, add ⅔ cup butter and ½ cup brown sugar. Keep stirring over medium-high heat and keep stirring until it comes to a boil. Keep cooking for about three minutes.
- Pour the mixture over the crust and place the pan in the middle rack of the oven.
- Bake for 15 – 17 minutes until the crust is golden and bubbly.
- Remove the pan from the oven and add the chocolate morsels on the bubbling mixture. Wait for 2-3 minute until the chocolate morsels are slightly melted. Take a brown bamboo stick and stir the morsels slightly.
- Cool the turtle cookies on a cooling rack at room temperature for about 2-3 hours. You want to make sure the chocolate is set properly before cutting the cookies into squares.
- 9 x 13 baking pan or dish.
- Digital scale.
- Measuring cups and spoons.
- Mixing bowls.
- Rubber spatula.
- Walnuts: Use walnuts instead of pecans in this recipe in 1:1 ratio.
- Dry apples: Substitute the pecans layer with diced dried apples layer in this recipe to make the cookies taste like caramel apple cookies.
- Pecans: Feel free to add extra pecans for these easy turtle cookies if you are a pecan lover like me.
Pecans: Arrange the pecan halves throughout the turtle cookie dough so that there are pecans in every bite in this delicious chocolate cookie.
Pecan Halves or Chopped Pecans: Pecan halves look the best in the cookies but feel free to use the chopped pecans if you like it that way.
Large or Small Cookie: Feel free to cut the cookies according to the size of your choice. I like large cookie size but you can certainly cut them small.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many other Turtle Cookies recipe ask to chill the dough for a moist crumb and nice texture of the cookie. However, you do not need to. You can just follow this recipe step-by-step and you will see that you will achieve a dense, crunchier and fudgy cookie texture without chilling it in the fridge.
While you can use un-roasted pecans but I like my pecans to be roasted for these cookies for an enhanced nuttier flavor in the cookies. Spread the pecans on the baking sheet and bake them for 6-8 minutes until they are fragrant and you are done. Cool them and use the pecan halves as-is or if you like chop the pecans and then use it.
How to Store
- Place the cooled cookies in an air-tight container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
- Pack the cookies with plastic wrap and add a layer of foil. Place the cookies in a ziplock bag or an airtight container and stash the cookies in the freezer where they will stay fresh for up to 3 months.
- Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before serving them.
Did you make this recipe and loved it? Give it a 5-star 🌟 rating with a comment. Join our Now Delish newsletter to get a free ebook and weekly recipes. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Tiktok as well.
- 1 13 x 9 inch baking pan
- Digital Scale
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Rubber Spatula
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 g)
- 1 cup brown sugar (200 g) firmly packed
- ½ cup butter (115 g) room temperature
- 1 cup pecan halves (125 g) toasted
- ⅔ cup butter (151 g)
- ½ cup brown sugar (100 g) firmly packed
- 1 cup milk chocolate morsels (6 oz/170 g)
- Preheat oven at 350 F. Take out a 13 x 9 inch pan. Do not grease the pan.
- Ina bowl, add all-purpose flour, 1 cup brown sugar and ½ cup butter (softened).Beat it at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.
- Pat down the mixture in the pan firmly. Set the pean halves on the crust and set aside.
- In a medium sized saucepan, add ⅔ cup butter and ½ cup brown sugar. Keep stirring over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Keep cooking for three minutes.
- Pour the mixture over the crust in the baking pan and place the baking dish in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 15 – 17 minutes until the crust is golden and bubbly.
- Remove the pan from the oven and add the chocolate morsels on the bubbling mixture.Wait for 2-3 minute until the chocolate morsels are slightly melted. Take a brown bamboo stick and stir the morsels slightly. Do not swirl all the chocolate morsels and keep some morsels whole.
- Cool the turtle cookies on a cooling rack for about 2 - 3 hours. Make sure the chocolate is set properly before cutting the cookies into squares.