97 responses

  1. Jess Wakasugi {Life’s Simple Measures}
    January 12, 2012

    These cookies are adorable and I LOVE the pecan pieces on the outside. That creamy caramel doesn’t hurt either :) I pinned this recipe, can’t wait to make these!

  2. Liz
    January 12, 2012

    Do you think these cookies would travel well (i.e. through the mail)? I have a friend’s birthday coming up and I wanted to send her some cookies. These look amazing, but maybe they would be too messy after they got all the way to her. What do you think?

    • Kristen
      January 12, 2012

      Well, it might be a little messy, but you could make it work if you really want to send these. I would put wax or parchment paper between each layer and wrap them up so that they’re not going to shake around too much in the box. When she takes off the paper between the layers there will be some caramel stuck to it, but other than that, it should be fine.

  3. Rachel
    January 12, 2012

    Oh I want these! They turned out perfect.

  4. Candace
    January 12, 2012

    these look wonderful. i can’t wait to make them. by the way, i have found myself baking more and more cookies with my OXO spatula i won on your blog. it really is the best cookie spatula i have ever come across. thanks again :)

    • Kristen
      January 12, 2012

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the spatula! I can tell you for a fact that the OXO spatula works really well on these cookies, but you may want to check it out for yourself :)

  5. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes
    January 12, 2012

    Saw this on Foodgawker and had to come checkout the recipe. They look amazing!

    • Kristen
      January 12, 2012

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  6. Katie {Epicurean Mom Blog}
    January 12, 2012

    OMG! These sound HEAVENLY! I found your blog through foodgawker! Love this cookie, I WILL be making this soon! :)

  7. Morgan
    January 12, 2012

    I bought that issue of cook’s illustrated for this recipe and made them over the holidays. Totally my new favorite cookie. Yours are lovely!

    • Kristen
      January 15, 2012

      Thanks! Yeah, the entire issue is pretty stellar, but so far these are my favorite. This recipe alone is worth the purchase!

  8. Andrea (questfordelish)
    January 12, 2012

    these look so yummy. I just love turtles so I think I will love these. thanks for sharing.

  9. Megan
    January 12, 2012

    I seriously considered making these over the holidays, but I took on so many other baking projects. I definitely need to make them at some point. Yours look gorgeous.

    • Kristen
      January 15, 2012

      It is incredibly hard to narrow down the choices for the holidays. Fortunately these aren’t super Christmasy or anything, so they’re perfect for any time of year!

  10. Mercedes
    January 13, 2012

    These look amazingly beautiful and decadent! The texture look just perfect too!

  11. beti
    January 13, 2012

    the caramel on top is simply perfect, I’m afraid that these cookies will become my favorite ones

  12. Jessica
    January 16, 2012

    I made these this weekend!! But I cannot tell you how much trouble I had trying to find plain caramels!! Philadelphia (or at least my neighborhood) seems entirely opposed to selling them. So I ended up having to buy caramels with cream centers, and then cutting the centers out (wasn’t hard to do). I’m not sure my caramel was quite as good as it would have been with plain caramels, but I assure you there were no complaints from the folks who ate the cookies!! Thanks for posting. I love the pecans on this cookie – they make all the difference.

    • Kristen
      January 16, 2012

      Wow, that takes some determination to cut out all the cream centers! I’m glad you were able to make it work!

  13. Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons
    January 17, 2012

    ahhh could these be any cuter!!?!? They look awesome girl! and sound deeeellish! Just found your blog today!

  14. archcook
    January 18, 2012


    Sooo delicious!! I’m on diet :(

  15. Anna
    January 24, 2012

    This look fantastic! However, I might have to go the completely lazy route and try them with Toffifee stuck in the center rather than dealing with caramel. I have no idea if you can get them in the US (we’re in Germany) but they seem perfect for these…

  16. Nichole
    January 28, 2012

    Awesome recipe! Just tried them and they turned out perfectly! The chocolate cookie nice and fudgey, the pecans lightly toasted and the caramel deliciously smooth! Would definitely make them again and they’ll probably become a must have on my holiday baking list from now on!

    • Kristen
      January 30, 2012

      I’m so glad you liked them! They are absolutely going to be on my holiday baking list from now on, not to mention whenever I need a chocolate-caramel fix! They’re just too good!

  17. Courtney
    January 30, 2012

    I plan on making these this week! They look so delicious!!! I was wondering if the caramel stays soft after cooling? I’ve made turtles before & the caramel got really hard after cooling for a while.

    • Kristen
      January 30, 2012

      No, the caramel stays wonderfully soft and gooey, even days later (if you still have any left by then!). Let me know how it goes!

  18. Karen
    April 20, 2012

    Kristen, thanks for the recipe, these were awesome! My grandmother loves turtle sundaes, turtle cake, etc. so I made these and sent them as a care package for her 97th birthday. She always jokes that she wishes her doctor would prescribe chocolate for her health – I figured at 97 she should eat as many of these as she wants :)

  19. claudia
    April 24, 2012

    These look heavinly! I was wondering, can they be made ahead and frozen? Or how long would they last in a container?

    • Kristen
      April 24, 2012

      They’ll last around a week in a sealed container. I haven’t tried freezing them, but they should keep for up to a month if you wrapped them well. Not a bad idea – that way you could always have some on hand!

  20. Heather Hughes
    June 2, 2012

    I made these as part of a Mother’s Day gift. They turned out soooo good & yummy! Perfect! :)

  21. Erin
    June 25, 2012

    …they literally fell apart on the cooling rack. 12 minutes is nowhere near enough? I followed the recipe exactly. Heaps disappointing :(

    • Kristen
      June 25, 2012

      Oh no! Maybe your oven runs a little cool? Or maybe the batter didn’t cool enough before you put it in the oven. It’s important to cool it thoroughly so that the butter doesn’t melt the second you put them in the oven.

  22. Sharon
    July 1, 2012

    If I am not going to use the pecans (nut allergies) would I still dip the balls in the egg white?

    • Kristen
      July 1, 2012

      You can skip the egg wash – that’s just necessary to get the nuts to stick to the cookie. Enjoy!

  23. Martha
    July 12, 2012

    Hi, I have a gas oven. Max temp is 230 degrees. will be I able to bake in lower temp. this cookies?

    • Kristen
      July 14, 2012

      Hi Martha, is that in Celsius or Fahrenheit? If your oven is in Celsius, cook them at about 175 or 180 degrees.

  24. Martha
    July 17, 2012

    Thanx, my oven – Celsius. Will do them this weekend.

  25. cindy
    August 22, 2012

    i want to make these tomorrow but i dont have pecans…do you think i could use crushed walnuts instead of the pecans?? they look so yummy :)

    • Kristen
      August 22, 2012

      Yes, walnuts would be fine. Enjoy!

  26. Lynne
    September 3, 2012

    I love turtles and want to give this a try, but you don’t specify which rack to bake them on. You said to adjust the oven racks up and down from middle, but then you don’t specify which rack to use when it’s time to bake? That’ll make a huge difference. Which one should I use, middle top or middle bottom? thank you

    • Kristen
      September 3, 2012

      IF you’ve got two cookie sheets, you’ll want to put one in the upper-middle and one in the lower-middle position so that one is in the upper third of your oven and the other is about 2/3 of the way down. Then you’ll want to rotate the cookie sheets halfway through baking. If you only want to bake one sheet at a time, bake it on the middle rack in your oven.

      • Lynne
        September 3, 2012

        awesome! Now I understand switching! thank you.

  27. Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground
    September 9, 2012

    Made. LOVED!!!!!! Posted about. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe … just may be my new favorite cookie. I added a chocolate drizzle on top … come check ‘em out if you’d like.
    Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground

  28. Melodie
    September 13, 2012

    How do you know when the cookies are done? Mine have been in over 12 minutes but they are super soft. How are they supposed to be?

    • Kristen
      October 18, 2012

      The cookie itself should be somewhat firm to the touch,but not hard. It you press the cookie lightly, it should kind of bounce back.

  29. Ashley
    October 17, 2012

    These came out great! I hope there are some left for my husband when he gets home from work tonight!

  30. Angelia
    October 22, 2012

    can I use milk instead of heavy cream? and instead of putting the caramel on the top could i use rolos?

    • Kristen
      October 23, 2012

      If you want to use rolos, I would skip the heavy cream altogether. Instead, I would press the rolos into the cookie dough just before baking. If you decide to go the caramel route, I would not replace the heavy cream with milk because it will make the caramel too thin.

  31. Sylvie
    October 26, 2012

    Hi, i made the cookies and froze them without the caramel, took them out a week later and put the caramel on frozen cookies… they are so good, i am going to server them tomorrow night with a maple syrup mousse verrines and apple cake… thank you so much for this recipe… Sylvie

  32. daphnie
    October 31, 2012

    I made it and it was pure sin ! I used cashew nuts instead of pecan and added some grated cooking chocolate to the mixture as well. I used a caramel sauce ( home made by boiling a tin of condensed milk ) for the centre :)

  33. lacey
    November 6, 2012

    How do I not make them to come out flat even thow I used everything by order

    • Kristen
      November 6, 2012

      Maybe you didn’t chill the dough enough? Also make sure that your butter is not melted, just soft enough that it leaves an impression if you press with your fingers, but it should still provide some resistance.

  34. Renee
    November 10, 2012

    These look really good. Can you freeze them? If so, for how long?

    • Kristen
      November 12, 2012

      I’ve never tried freezing them, but it should work. I think in general you can freeze cookies for 3-6 months.

  35. Ria
    November 19, 2012

    Will the caramel make the cookies stick together when I put them in a container?

    • Kristen
      November 19, 2012

      Yes – put some wax or parchment paper between layers.

  36. Dawn
    November 19, 2012

    I am going to try these and give them as gifts. I have almost all the ingredients on hand but wondered if salted/unsalted butter mattered when making these cookies?

    • Kristen
      November 19, 2012

      I prefer unsalted, but if you have salted, that’s fine, just cut down the salt in the recipe.

  37. The Pastry Chef
    December 3, 2012

    Found this recipe and your blog via pinterest and I made these cookies for a dessert party last weekend – they were great! Might be my new holiday favorite. I just blogged about them – thanks for sharing the recipe.

  38. Shannon
    December 6, 2012

    How many cookies does this recipe make? I have a cookie exchange on Saturday so I plan on making 7 dozen of these delicious little suckers tomorrow.

    • Kristen
      December 6, 2012

      The recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen, so you’ll probably want to triple the recipe. Have fun!

  39. Shannon
    December 6, 2012

    Thank you! Of course I noticed that at the top right after I posted my comment. Silly me. Wish me luck! I hope mine turn out as beautiful as yours! Thank you for sharing the recipe, I’ll let you know if they win!

  40. LoLo
    December 10, 2012

    Wow! I was looking for a turtle cookie recipe that contained caramel for my cookie exchange at work. I had found recipes, but not with caramel and then I googled and this came up… OMG! I am so glad I found this recipe, I made them and ate one and all I could keep saying was OMG! I’m sure they will be a hit, I will find out today! I will be making them again for my family for Christmas! Thank You!!!!

  41. Kristen
    December 14, 2012

    I’ve never heard of turtle cookies but am trying these tonight for a party tomorrow!
    My husband could only find jersey caramels (is there a difference?!) hmmm, will post tomorrow if they work.

  42. ashcat
    December 14, 2012

    Tried it and failed. not sure where i went worng… will give another go tomorrow :-) thank you for sharing

  43. Kristen
    December 14, 2012

    Jersey caramels work fine- yay!
    I had to cook them a few mins extra and used butter instead of shortening but they turned out really well! Also, I squished them back to the perfect shape when they came out the oven. Thanks!!

  44. Nicole
    December 14, 2012

    Does anyone know if these freeze well?

  45. Christine
    December 17, 2012

    I made these cookies, found the recipe off of Pinterest, and plan on making MANY batches for the holidays! They were perfect! I struggled with getting the caramel to harden up enough that they didn’t just ooze all over when I tried moving them, maybe less cream next time…. But, a new favorite! THANK YOU!!

  46. Joanna
    December 19, 2012

    Did you use roasted nuts? I would like to but I don’t want them to have a burnt flavor when they finish cooking.

    • Kristen
      December 19, 2012

      Hi Joanna, The nuts will get toasted lightly while the cookies bake, so there’s no need to roast them beforehand.

  47. Amy P.
    December 19, 2012

    Just made these for the first time…and won the Christmas baking contest at the school where I work! Thanks for sharing a great recipe. They are not too hard to make, and really delicious.

  48. Azhorsetrader62
    December 23, 2012

    I made theses cookies today after finding them on Pinterest. My husband loves chocolate turtles so this was sure to be a winner. These are as amazing as they look. A couple of things I will do differently next year. The mixer makes the cookie mixture too soft. Next time I will either mix by hand or chill longer. Chilling and keeping the cookie dough relatively cold ensures they don’t melt in the oven. I also will make sure I chop the nuts more finely. I also will add less cream to the caramels or add more to the mixture so the caramel gets a little bit firmer like the chocolate candy turtles. Lastly my formed cookie balls were about 2″ this was was too big, not because I don’t love big cookies, but because they take forever to cook and the cookies are so rich they simply are too big to finish. Making the bigger cookie I ended up baking nearly 20 min. Thank you for this wonderful recipe it will be a family classic now for years to come.

  49. Shelly Z
    December 24, 2012

    Just made these! Next time I’m using Trader Joe’s fleur de sel caramels! Yum!!

  50. venessa
    December 24, 2012

    I’ll be trying these out tonight. I’ll be making them Mexican style though by using Dulce de Leche which is a type of caramel!! So excited to se how they come out. I have a squeze bottle for a mess free pour hahaha

  51. Alexandra @ Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker
    December 29, 2012

    I can only imagine how good these cookies must taste, especially with that pool of caramel in the middle of them! I’m so glad there are others out there like me who still think cookie recipes are 100% acceptable after New Year’s (resolutions or not!). We can’t miss out on this kind of a deliciousnness!

  52. ayen
    March 15, 2013

    Can i use homemade caramel? How can i make the caramel harden a little bit?

    Thank you in advance!!! These are the recipe ive been looking for!!! Thanks for sharong it!????

  53. Allie
    April 26, 2013

    I made these for my grandfather and he LOVED them!!!!!

  54. Lori
    May 4, 2013

    Another Winner! I just had to pre-test these as a contribution for a fund-raising bake sale this coming week. They are absolutely, hands down my favourite cookie. Surprisingly not sweet, just the right amount of caramel heaven with rich chocolate cookie goodness covered in pecans. I posted them on my blog. Thank you for sharing this cookie!

  55. Carla Morin
    June 9, 2013

    Ok guys I made these a few months ago for a cookie exchange and OMG I had to make extras because we couldn’t keep our hands off them!

    Now I was thinking, what if I tried a chocolate shortbread cookie recipe with the nuts and caramel if it might work…any thaughts ladies?

  56. Graziela
    September 21, 2013

    Danger! Danger! I would never stop eating these! These look amazing! Thank you for posting!

  57. Sherry
    November 21, 2013

    Great recipe

  58. Heather
    December 3, 2013

    I cheated when I made these and put a hershey’s caramel kiss on top (was trying to make too many things in a short amount of time) and it was great! I’m making them again this year because they were such a hit.

  59. Nancy Harp
    December 8, 2013

    I made these tonight for our employee Christmas party tomorrow. They were a messy concoction but my son loved them. I also made some without the pecans and he said they were good too but better with the pecans. I wanted some without nuts for people with allergies. I had trouble melting the caramels in the microwave so I ended up getting out my melting pot.

  60. Sweet Macaron
    December 10, 2013

    I made these a few days ago and they were delicious! My younger brother ate almost all of them alone. And he was like “they are sooo good!!”.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  61. Jen
    December 13, 2013

    Did you use salted pecans or the baking pecans in the baking aisle?

    • Kristen
      December 13, 2013

      I used plain, unsalted pecans.

  62. Erin
    December 13, 2013

    Can you substitute gluten free chocolate cake mix for the flour, salt and cocoa powder?

    • Kristen
      December 13, 2013

      Hi Erin, I’m really not sure if it would work or not. I’m not familiar with gluten free cake mixes, but I imagine they have more in them than just the equivalent to flour, salt, and cocoa powder – there’s probably a leavening agent of some sort. I guess you could give it a try, but have a backup plan if it doesn’t work.

  63. Kim
    December 16, 2013

    Hi so I just made these and they taste great but! When I was trying to roll the dough it was extremely sticky and very hard to roll into the egg and pecans. Any advice of what I maybe did wrong? I left the batter in the fridge for over 1:30…thanks!

  64. Felicia
    December 17, 2013

    These look delicious! Do you have a recipe to make the caramel center without using store brought candy? Thanks!

    • Kristen
      December 18, 2013

      Hmm…. I’m not sure. Are you sure that you added all of the flour, or conversely, that you didn’t add too much of any of the wet ingredients? It’s normal to be a little sticky (especially when rolling), but it shouldn’t be so sticky that it’s difficult to roll in the pecans.

  65. nick
    December 19, 2013

    do you know the macros per cookie? like calories/carbs/protein/fat?

  66. Narda
    December 24, 2013

    Oh, so good. Just made these absolutely delectable cookies tonight. I substituted Dulce de Leche for the caramel, though. I can’t wait to see what the people at work think of them tomorrow. Thanks for sharing.

  67. Ginger
    February 1, 2014

    I’m going to make these for the Super Bowl gather tomorrow!

  68. Dee
    February 6, 2014

    Hi,i made this today and guess what? It was so yummy! But i have a question, am having difficulty to roll the dough as the dough was very sticky and also difficult to dip in egg whites and roll in pecans. Can you help me with this? Overall, my parents Loved them so much!

  69. Mickey
    May 19, 2014

    Can I substitute carmel sauce or would it be too runny?

  70. Kristen
    May 22, 2014

    I’m not sure as I haven’t tried it. Store bought caramel sauce might be a bit runny, but it’s worth trying. Another reader said that she made her own caramel sauce and that it worked out well. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  71. lekendra
    June 26, 2014

    Just made these cookies n they look n taste great. I need to work on making smaller cookie balls but still yum. Think I found my cookie to give as a gift for the holidays! Thanks for sharing :)

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