These Turtle Cookies feature a chocolate cookie base rolled in pecans then covered in melty caramel and topped with a chocolate drizzle. They’re bound to be a huge hit with anyone you share them with!

A thumbprint turtle cookie with a bite taken out of it.

List of Holiday Cookies

It’s time the holiday cookies to make their debut, and coming in strong are these Turtle Cookies! But you can’t bake just one cookie, so here are some of our favorites:

An overhead photo of turtle cookies, a chocolate cookie base rolled in pecans and then topped with caramel and chocolate.

Wow that’s a lot of cookie recipes you need to try!

To make these easy turtle cookies here’s what you need to do.

How to make (easy) turtle cookies

Begin by making the chocolate cookie dough (see recipe card for detailed instructions on making the dough). Once you’ve made the dough, chill it for 1 hour. Chilling the dough yields a chewier cookie and one that doesn’t spread as much.

After the dough has chilled, prepare the egg white and the pecans.

Note: the egg whites act as a bonding agent for the pecans.

A glass bowl with the turtle cookie dough in it.

In a small bowl whisk the egg white until frothy. In another small bowl add the finely chopped pecans.

Portion the chocolate dough into 20 small balls. Working 1 at a time, roll each ball in the egg white and then in the chopped pecans. Note, you’ll need to press slightly so that the pecans will stick.

Place the pecan covered balls on a parchment lined baking sheet.

A teaspoon measuring spoon pressing into one of the turtle cookies to create an indentation for the caramel.

Using the back of a small measuring spoon make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.

Note: I used 1/2 teaspoon to start out with, but after baking I used a 1 tsp measuring spoon to re-indent the cookies.

A baking sheet full of turtle cookies prior to drizzling the caramel into the thumbprint indentation.

Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are just set.

Remove the cookies from the oven and then gently re-press the indentations with the back of the spoon. You can do larger than 1 teaspoon… 1/2 tablespoon would create a bigger well for even more caramel!

Let the cookies cool on a wire rack. When cool, drizzle melted caramel into each indentation.

Caramel filled turtle cookies.

Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.

But lets be honest, you should definitely drizzle these cookies with chocolate because #1- more chocolate = better & #2 – the chocolate makes these cookies look so pretty!

How to melt the caramel

If you’re wondering how to melt the caramel, it’s fairly easy. Place the caramel and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. I used Kraft caramel bits… they’re so much easier to work with, and they melt a lot quicker too.

Microwave for 1-2 minutes in 15-20 second increments, stirring well after each segment. Continue until fully melted.

Chocolate drizzled overtop of caramel filled turtle cookies.

Technically these can be considered thumbprint turtle cookies. Rather than using a small measuring cup to make the indentation, use your thumb instead!

These cookies would be perfect if you’re doing a Christmas or holiday cookie exchange! They’re not too big, or too small. They’re PERFECT!

A bite taken out of a caramel filled turtle cookie.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear what you thought! Leave a rating and comment below. Thank you!

Also, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to Salt & Baker. You’ll receive a delicious recipe in your inbox each week. (You can’t say “No” to that!) Sign up below.

Turtle Cookies

A delicious chocolate cookie base is rolled in pecans, baked, and then covered in warm caramel. To take this holiday cookie over the top it's drizzled with chocolate!
prep time 35 mins
cook time 10 mins
Chill Time 1 hr
total time 1 hr 45 mins
servings: 20 cookies
calories: 152kcal

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans finely chopped

Caramel

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in 1 egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and mix until combined. Chill the dough in the fridge for 1 hour. 
  • Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Place the chopped pecans in another small bowl. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and roll into 20 small balls. Once you’ve rolled them all into balls, working 1 at a time, dip each dough ball into the frothy egg whites and then roll the dough in the chopped pecans. You’ll need to press slightly so that the pecans will stick. 
  • Place the pecan covered balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. 
  • Use the back of a small measuring spoon to make an indentation in the center of each dough ball
  • Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until just set. 
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and if need be gently re-press the indentations with the back of the measuring spoon. 
  • Let cookies cool on a wire rack. When cool, drizzle melted caramel into each indentation. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired. 

Caramel

  • In a microwave safe bowl add the caramel bits (or other caramel you are using) and heavy cream. Microwave for 1-2 minutes in 15-20 second increments, stirring well after segment. Continue until fully melted. 
Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment or share a photo on Instagram and tag @saltandbaker and hashtag it #saltandbaker.

This post contains affiliate links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.