Chocolate Turtle Cookies.

Fudgy chocolate cookies with chocolate chips, pecans, and caramel. Like your favorite turtle chocolate candies in cookie form!

Chocolate Turtle Cookies - like your favorite turtle chocolate candies in cookie form! Recipe at

Welcome to recipe #1 of my Sally’s Cookie Palooza!

For the next 10 days, I will be sharing a new cookie recipe with you. Just in time for Christmas! Make sure your cookie jar is currently empty, because you’ll be making quite a few dozen soon. From sprinkles, to mint chocolate, to caramel, to coconut, to red velvet, to shortbread – I think you’ll all find a cookie to love.

Sally's Christmas Cookie Palooza

Are you ready for 10 new cookie recipes? That’s a whole lot of Sally’s Baking Addiction. 😉

Chocolate Turtle Cookies - like your favorite turtle chocolate candies in cookie form! Recipe at

We’re going to start with something sort of amazing, wonderful, crazy, fudgy, nutty, caramel-y, and hands down AWESOME. Chocolate turtle cookies!

I was never a fan of pecans when I was little. When we had homemade pecan rolls every Christmas morning (among other things), I’d pick off all the nuts and give them to my mom. These days I’m completely nuts about them! (No pun intended, of course.)

Pecans, chocolate, and caramel make up one of my favorite candies: chocolate turtles. I took all of those flavors and turned them into one irresistible cookie. And you know what? These over-the-top cookies give chocolate turtle candies a run for their money.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies - like your favorite turtle chocolate candies in cookie form! Recipe at

You’ll start with my standard chocolate cookie recipe. This chocolate cookie dough is so versatile. You can make s’mores cookies, candy cane kiss cookies, inside out chocolate chip cookies, and salted caramel cookies.

The cookie dough requires chilling, so make sure you plan ahead. You must chill this cookie dough because it is much too sticky to form into balls. Plus, chilling the dough will reduce spread. You don’t want flat turtle cookies, trust me.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies - like your favorite turtle chocolate candies in cookie form! Recipe at

After the cookie dough has been chilled, roll into balls. Then, roll each into some crushed pecans and mini chocolate chips.

If you can’t find mini chocolate chips:

  • Feel free to roll the cookies in only crushed pecans.
  • You may add regular size chocolate chips to the chocolate cookie dough itself and then roll into just pecans.

The caramel is made from Werther’s Original® Baking Caramels. The same caramel I smothered on my Caramel Molasses Cookies.  You’ll need 14 caramels and 1 Tablespoon of cream (or milk). Cream or half-and-half will produce the best tasting caramel. Try to avoid using soy products or nonfat milk. You need dairy fat to make the best tasting and best textured caramel sauce.

Melt the caramels and cream over low-medium heat. Stir until completely melted, about 5-10 minutes. That’s it!

2 Ingredient Caramel Sauce-2

If you’d like to make caramel from scratch instead, try my salted caramel recipe (with step-by-step photos). Try that with or without salt as the cookie’s drizzle.

Get to baking, I promise there won’t be a chocolate crumb left!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Yield: 20 cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Print Recipe

Fudgy chocolate cookies with chocolate chips, pecans, and caramel. Like your favorite turtle chocolate candies in cookie form!

This cookie dough requires at least 2 hours to chill.



  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (52g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (90g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup (105g) chopped pecan pieces

Easy Caramel Sauce


Make the cookies: Toss the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. Switch the mixer to medium speed and beat in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Turn the mixer off and pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and slowly beat until a very soft dough is formed. Beat in the milk on medium speed. The dough will be very sticky. Cover the dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. Chilling is mandatory.

Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes so it is not rock hard. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

Combine the mini chocolate chips and pecan pieces together in a small bowl. Scoop 1 Tablespoon of dough (mine was a little more - closer to 1.5 tbsp), mold into a ball, and roll into the chocolate chips/pecans. Repeat for each cookie. Place 10 balls onto each baking sheet. Bake each batch for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the caramel: Add the caramels and cream to a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Constantly stir, allowing the caramels to fully melt. Once melted, turn off the stove and let the caramel sit in the pan until ready to use. You could also use a microwave to melt the caramels and cream together, but you would have to stop and stir every minute or so. I find the stove melts the caramels more evenly and it is much easier.

Drizzle warm caramel over cookies and allow to set for at least 10 minutes.

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Cookies without caramel may be frozen for up to 2 months. Store extra caramel in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Use it on ice cream, these cookies, or use as a dipping sauce for fruit or graham crackers. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.



 Happy Birthday SBA  

Before I leave you, I think it’s only appropriate to mention something sort of huge. Today, December 11th 2013, is Sally’s Baking Addiction’s 2nd anniversary. My first post ever holds a recipe that I still love to this day. I will never update those photos. Just a reminder of how hard work and dedication can take you far.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for following me in the kitchen. From all my recipe disasters, successes, and cherished memories – thank you.

I wouldn’t be where I am today, lucky enough to call my passion my full time job, if it were not for you. 🙂


thank you




114 Responses to “Chocolate Turtle Cookies.”

  1. #

    Another wonderful recipe!!! Happy two year anniversary!! How exciting! I cannot wait to make these cookies. They look too good not to try them out for myself. I am sure my family will not object!


    • Sallyreplied on December 12th, 2013 at 7:43 am

      Thanks for the anniversary wishes, Tara! I appreciate it. You need to try these! They are one of the best cookie recipes I’ve made in awhile.


  2. #
    Amyposted December 11, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Congratulations on your two year anniversary!
    I can definitely handle a lot more of Sally’s Baking Addiction coming my way! I love turtle-flavoured anything 🙂 My best friend and her husband went to North America for their honeymoon last year and brought back turtle chocolates for me, and another friend of ours makes an awesome turtle cheesecake 🙂
    The more turtle the better I say 😉


    • Sallyreplied on December 12th, 2013 at 7:42 am

      “The more turtle the better I say” – yes! I 100% agree. Bring on the turtle treats! How sweet of your friend to bring you back some chocolate turtle candies from America, Amy! Thanks for the well wishes on my blog’s 2 years!


  3. #
    Liz @Life Made Sweetposted December 12, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Happy Birthday SBA!!! woohoo!!! haha at first I thought you were talking about the Small Business Administration :). These cookies look crazy good and I am so excited for your 10 days of cookies!!


    • Sallyreplied on December 12th, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Hahahaha no! Sally’s Baking Addiction. 🙂 Thanks for your excitement about the cookie extravaganza, Liz!


  4. #
    Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girlposted December 12, 2013 at 12:30 am

    I’m getting out my fat pants! Bring on the cookies!


    • Sallyreplied on December 12th, 2013 at 7:40 am

      Hahahahah I just laughed so loud reading “fat pants” this morning. =)


  5. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Deliciousposted December 12, 2013 at 1:15 am

    10 new cookies recipes? Yes, please! And with that drizzle of caramel, how could I resist?!


  6. #
    Jess @ On Sugar Mountainposted December 12, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Oh I am so excited for the cookie palooza!!! If this is the recipe to kick things off, I can only imagine what’s next! Excuse me while I drool over my keyboard. 😉


  7. #
    Karen Petersenposted December 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    If I gain 5 lbs over Christmas I’m holding you personally responsible! Ha ha! These look amazing!


  8. #
    Ashtonposted December 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Happy happy Anniversary!!!! Wishing you continued success! BTW, making these gems for an ugly sweater party we’re attending tomorrow. Cannot wait to taste them! Cheers!


    • Sallyreplied on December 14th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Ugly sweater parties are always so much fun! Hope you have a blast – and, of course, hope you enjoy these cookies! Thanks for the nice wishes 🙂


  9. #
    Amyposted December 16, 2013 at 12:19 am

    I was just like you as a little girl — I hated nuts! I wouldn’t even pick them off; I’d just refuse to eat whatever it was they were in. (Unless it was trail mix, and then I’d just pick out all of the pretzels and M&Ms.) Your cookies look downright decadent Sally, and they wouldn’t even last 2 hours in my chocoholic nut-loving family’s house!


    • Sallyreplied on December 16th, 2013 at 9:11 am

      You sound exactly like me with trail mix, Amy! My mom made it with chocolate chips and raisins and peanuts. I’d eat everything but the peanuts. Oh how times have changed. 🙂 You would love these cookies!


      • Amyreplied on December 16th, 2013 at 5:28 pm

        So cute! We’re like two peas in a pod. Or two pecans in a turtle cookie!

  10. #
    Londonposted December 16, 2013 at 4:19 am

    Sally! Good news, my Ziplist recipe box now looks like your site index. That’s right, I’ve bookmarked EVERY. RECIPE. It’s called love, my dear. I’m stalking you. (Don’t worry, it’s only a little bit creepy.)


    These cookies are happening soon. Like tomorrow. Like sooner than tomorrow. Like PRONTO. I’m excited. :o) HUG. YOU.


    • Sallyreplied on December 16th, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Haha thank you for bookmarking all of my recipes London. Let me know how you like these turtle cookies!


  11. #
    Leighposted December 16, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Sally, this was the first recipe of yours I have made and they turned out perfect! Your instructions are so easy to follow. I can’t wait to try more of your yummy sweets! Thanks 🙂


    • Sallyreplied on December 16th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks for reporting back Leigh! So glad you like them.


  12. #
    ggposted December 17, 2013 at 3:09 am

    Hi Sally!

    This is my first time baking, just wondering is this manageable for a beginner like me? Would also like to ask how many cookies can the ingredients above make? Thanks! 😀


    • Sallyreplied on December 17th, 2013 at 9:56 am

      Hi GG – I note the recipe yield in the recipe. And these are quite easy to make. Just a typical cookie dough made with a mixer, chilled, and rolled into pecans/chocolate chips. The caramel is simple too. Just take your time with it!


      • GGreplied on December 23rd, 2013 at 7:33 am

        Hi Sally, I’ve just made the cookies and would like to store them in a jar.Is there any way I can make them not stick together? I’ve tried putting parchment paper in between but they still sticks

        • Sallyreplied on December 23rd, 2013 at 7:39 am

          The caramel typically hardens after some time. If yours isn’t hardening, then I’m not sure how to stack them in a jar without sticking.

  13. #
    Marianaposted January 15, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    OMG !! I just cant believe the taste of this cookies!!! thanks a lot!!! and hugs from Mexico city


    • Sallyreplied on January 16th, 2014 at 10:42 am

      I’m glad you love them! Thanks Mariana.


  14. #
    Noelleposted February 2, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Hi Sally, every time I try to make caramel it tastes sour?? Any tips??


  15. #
    Carmenposted March 20, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Love your blog!! and your recipes and photos!! Cheers!!


  16. #
    Ashleyposted May 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Hi Sally!

    I just wanted to let you know how much I adore you and your blog, and your recipes!

    I made these cookies for some coworkers and family around the holidays. Turtle anything is one of my favorites, and my family loved them as well. So much that my aunt requested me to make them (and other cookies) for my cousin’s wedding next Saturday… Looks like I will be baking 10 dozen turtles this week!

    Thanks again for your creative and fun recipes.. I can’t wait to try some more.



  17. #
    Mateaposted September 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I normally don’t like nuts in cookies, but I love chocolate cookies with pecans!


  18. #
    Deb Susiposted December 1, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Happy anniversary. Love, love, love your blog. Am on vacation right now, but will make the turtle cookies as soon as I return! How scrumptious! Thank you for sharing.


  19. #
    Tanviposted May 17, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Hey! These cookies look absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to make them! I have one doubt though, can I substitute the pecans with almonds? 


    • Sallyreplied on May 17th, 2015 at 5:25 pm



  20. #
    Linda heimbuckposted December 3, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Sally, I just made your carrot cake and it was amazing. Best cake I’ve ever tasted. I have used many recipes over the years but after that cake recipe I have to say I’m a devoted follower. I’m going to try your cookie recipes next but would very much like a great cookie cutout recipe. I tried so many and am still not happy with any of them. They look great and taste awful or vice versa. I want to make perfect Christmas tree cookies with perfect glaze or frosting this year. Help!


    • Sallyreplied on December 3rd, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Hi Linda! I’m so happy you enjoyed the carrot cake and are now following along. I suggest my go-to soft cut-out sugar cookies. Perfect every time. And many readers agree! They are one of the most popular recipes on my blog.


  21. #
    coriposted December 16, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Hi Sally!  I want to send these to my husbands family via airplane when he goes to visit them – would they ship well or are they sticky?


    • Sallyreplied on December 16th, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      With the caramel drizzle– these really aren’t ideal for shipping. How about these cookies instead?


  22. #
    coriposted December 16, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Oh i searched “ship” “store and “sent” and didn’t find an answer but then looked up two comments and saw that you think they harden after a little while so hopefully ill be good!  Never mind!


  23. #
    Camiposted December 22, 2015 at 10:47 am

    I love this recipe and I think its genius but I’m in the process of making the cookies and I realized that I forgot to get cocoa powder is it possible I could make the recipe without it?



  24. #
    kathyposted December 22, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    can the dough chill over night??


  25. #
    Lorrieposted September 1, 2016 at 7:35 am

    How long can the dough chill? 


    • Sallyreplied on September 1st, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Up to about 3 days.


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