chocolate turtle cookies

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

I hope you’ve saved room for one last cookie recipe, because these were my favorites of the season! When Steph, the social media manager from America’s Test Kitchen, sent me a copy of America’s Test Kitchen Holiday Cookies 2010 Special Issue I had a hard time deciding which cookies to make. I asked Joseph if he could help me narrow down the options and when I opened the cover he saw these chocolate turtle cookies and said, “Those. Make those.” I told him he couldn’t take the easy way out; he had to look at all 64 recipes and tell me which one he wanted. But even after going through the entire special issue, he stuck with his original answer: the chocolate turtle cookies.

Indenting Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

And frankly, it’s just further proof that I picked out the perfect guy because he was so right. These cookies are ridiculously good. How can you go wrong with gooey caramel nestled in a delicate chocolate cookie coated in toasted pecans? The answer? You just can’t.

Filling Chocolate Turtle Cookies with caramel

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

I know, it’s a new year, and eating healthier is on nearly everyone’s list of resolutions. But if your new year’s resolutions included making good food, this is the recipe for you. Because even if you’re trying to cut down on sweets, you want to make sure that the sweets you do eat are well worth it. And these cookies are definitely worth it.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

2 1/2 dozen cookies


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 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 1/4 cups pecans, chopped fine
  • 14 soft caramel candies
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in bowl. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, 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.
  2. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites in bowl until frothy. Place pecans in another bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, then roll in pecans. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using 1/2-teaspoon measure, make indentation in center of each ball. Bake until set, about 12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.
  3. Microwave caramels and cream in bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Once cookies are removed from oven, gently re-press existing indentations. Fill each with 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture. Cool 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Try not to devour them all at once.


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