Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Decadent chocolate.  Gooey caramel.  Crunchy nuts.  Hint of sea salt.  Mmmmmmm.  
I made these chocolate turtle cookies sometime in the dead of winter.  They were so good that I have been thinking about them for the past six months!  Not only are they gorgeous, but they are absolutely delicious.  They are certainly some of the best cookies I have ever made–and that’s saying a lot from a girl that loves her cookies and all things chocolate.  This little beauties are show stoppers.  I can’t wait for an excuse to make them again!  
On another note, the backlog of blog posts is quite extensive.  I am hoping to get back to posting once or twice a week.  I am hoping that this school year will be more balanced and that my sanity will be more stable.  🙂  Thanks for hanging in there with me this year as I started my school administration journey.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies:
Adapted from a variety of recipes I found on Pinterest.

For the cookies…

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/3 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated…plus the egg white of an additional egg
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups of pecans, very finely chopped (i.e., in the food processor)

For the caramel filling…

(This is the same filling as in the pumpkin pie bites with salted caramel sauce.)

  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of water
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

To make the cookies…

  1. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Switch to the paddle attachment on your mixer.
  4. Add the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla.  Mix.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
  6. Form the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until firm, about an hour.
  7. Whisk the egg whites in a shallow bowl until frothy.  Place the pecan bits in another shallow bowl.
  8. Roll the chilled dough into one-inch sized balls.  Then dip in the egg whites.  Finally dip in the pecans.
  9. Place the balls about two inches apart on a large baking sheet.  I then used the back of a measuring spoon to make the indentation in the center of the cookie, but you can use your thumb or whatever implement you see fit.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 12 to 15 minutes.

To make the caramel filling…

  • Gather all of your ingredients and have them ready to add quickly. 
  • In a large non-stick skillet or sauce pan, heat the sugar and water over moderately high heat whisking constantly.
  • Once the mixture reaches a boil, stop whisking and allow the mixture to boil until it reaches a dark amber color.  Give it a final whisk or two.  
  • Once the mixture reaches a dark amber color, immediately add the butter and whisk until butter has melted then immediately remove from heat. 
  • Wait 3 seconds then carefully pour in cream and immediately whisk to combine (it will bubble vigorously). 
  • Whisk until the mixture is smooth, which could take a couple of minutes. 
  • Allow the caramel to cool several minutes then pour into a ziploc bag.  

The final touches…

  • Snip off the tip of the ziploc bag and squeeze the caramel into the prepared indented cookies until the caramel is just below the rim of the cookie.
  • Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  • Enjoy and dazzle your friends!

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