Chocolate Turtle Cookies with Pecans

Things I dislike in life: Chewy Caramels.

In my opinion, they just seem vastly inferior to decadent liquid caramel, which oozes at first bite. Generally, I like foods that ooze (that are meant to ooze..) In other words*, I love these cookies.

I made them for this year’s Super Bowl party, and they are very much an ode to life’s guilty pleasures. The chocolate cookies turn out crumbly and soft, and I prefer their brownie-like texture to crunchier cookies. Also, having salted caramel brings out their chocolatey goodness. 

* Until late middle school (..high school), I believed that the expression “in other words” was actually “anotherwards.”  Apparently, no one felt the need to correct me sooner. Fun, embarrassing fact.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies with Pecans


Adapted from the original recipe in America’s Test Kitchen. Also made by Pixelated Crumb.

Makes 30 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder (my preference)
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, separated, plus 1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted chocolate for the center (optional)
1 1/4 cups pecans, lightly toasted and chopped fine (I’d stick with pecans since they have a nice sweetness)

Salted Caramel Sauce *

*This recipe for salted caramel is indeed a sauce—the kind you’d put on ice cream. A slightly thicker alternative is: 14 soft caramel candies, microwaved and mixed with 3 Tbsps heavy cream, added salt optional.

Combine flour, cocoa, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk egg whites. Place pecans in another bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, then roll in pecans. Using 1/2-teaspoon measure, make indentation in center of each ball. (I added a small piece of chocolate to the inside of each hole, but this is highly optional, as I’m a fiend.)


Bake until set, about 10-12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Remove from oven. While still warm, re-indent the cookies. Fill each with 1/2 tsp salted caramel. Let cool completely.