What are Turtle Cookies?
Most people think of turtle candy, a stack of pecans, then lots of caramel, then topped with chocolate. A candy factory called the Chicago's DeMet's Candy Company (former name Johnson's Candy Company) was the first to use the name Turtle Candy in 1918. But somewhere in candy history, it says they originated from San Francisco in the early 1900s.
Since I wanted to make a cookie from the Turtle Candy concept, I needed caramel, pecans, and chocolate. I needed caramel and not the chips that have sea salt in them. It took me a good month to track down something I wanted to try. I know I could have gotten the caramel squares and cut them up, but what a chore that would have been. I wanted something a lot easier. Searching the Internet I found a company called Nuts.com which had Caramel Bits. They had just what I was searching for in caramel that I did not have to cut into small pieces.
I added pecan bits, but you can use chopped pecans if you want more of a significant pecan taste. Since I added a pecan half on top, I thought it would go well with the bits.
I did not use chocolate on top of the cookie since I made the cookie a chocolate cookie base.
Chocolate with Caramel and Pecan Turtle Cookies
- 8 oz Cream Cheese room temperature
- ½ cup Butter unsalted room temperature 1 stick
- 1-½ cup Sugar white 297 g
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs room temperature
- 1-¾ cups All purpose flour 210 g
- ¾ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder 63 g
- 2 tsp Baking powder 8 g
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 cup Caramel bits
- 1 Pecan halves on top
- ½ cup Pecan bits
- In a bowl, weigh or measure the sugar and set aside. In another bowl, weigh or measure the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and run a whisk through to blend.
- In a stand or hand-held mixer bowl, add the cream cheese and butter. Turn your mixer to a medium speed for about 3 minutes. If your butter and cream cheese are still really cold and hard, gradually increase the speed of your mixer. This will take longer to blend the two ingredients. Add the sugar and blend for another 2 minutes. Stop and scrape down your bowl and across the bottom. Turn the mixer back on to medium-low speed and add the vanilla extract. Break one of the eggs into a bowl (to make sure you do not have any eggshells) and add it to the cookie batter, after being incorporated; repeat with the second egg.
- I scrape down the sides again and turn the mixer back on to a low speed before gradually adding the flour mixture. Blend till incorporated, then add the caramel and pecan bits. You want to get the caramel and pecan bits as evenly throughout the cookie dough as possible. You may have to mix a little by hand to ensure evenness. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°, and line 2 cookie sheet pans with parchment paper. Taking a medium cookie scoop and scoop out 12 mounds onto one of the cookie sheet pans. Take 1 pecan half and push it down on the top of each cookie mound. Bake for 10-12 minutes. After you pull the cookies out of the oven, take a butter knife and gently push any caramel that has spread out back to the cookie. Leave the cookies on the pan for at least 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. This recipe makes about 2-½ dozen!