Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Fudgy chocolate cookies with 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.

Are you ready for 10 new cookie recipes? 😉

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.

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.

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 before baking.

After the cookies cool down a little, drizzle salted caramel all over each. Hubba hubba!

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

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


Chocolate Turtle Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Fudgy chocolate cookies with 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 (spoon & leveled)
  • 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 pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 3/4 cup (105g) chopped pecans
  • homemade salted caramel


  1. Make the cookies: Toss the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Scoop 1 Tablespoon of dough, form into a ball, and roll in the pecans. Repeat for each cookie. Place 10 balls onto each baking sheet.
  5. 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.
  6. Drizzle warm caramel over cookies and allow to set for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months, with or without caramel. I find it’s best to drizzle with caramel right before serving, though. Unbaked cookie dough balls (before rolling in pecans) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll in chopped pecans. Bake as directed. Store any leftover caramel in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Use it on ice cream, these cookies, as a dipping sauce for fruit or graham crackers, and more. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe.
  2. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: chocolate turtle cookies, turtle cookies

★ 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 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. 🙂


    1. Thanks Sara! I’m so excited, I just finished shooting cookie recipe #8 today. So I have a lot already baked and finished. 🙂

  1. Congratulations on hitting two years! I’m sure a lot of bloggers quit before reaching that milestone, and it’s a testament to your dedication and fun personality that you have remained engaged with it and have attracted so many fans. 😀 Yours is my favorite blog, and I always look forward to your gorgeous pictures and detailed explanations! These cookies are beautiful! I still don’t like pecans much (they are my favorite nut, but I am just not fond of nuts generally), but I’d be willing to give them a try in this recipe! I love the caramel drizzle, and I’m sure these would be the first to go on a cookie plate!

    1. Hi Caley. You know, you are my most dedicated reader. One of them at least! I always look forward to your comments. I know exactly the things you like (fruity desserts, biscoff!) and I couldn’t appreciate your support more.

      I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you could definitely leave the nuts out. 🙂

  2. Congrats, Sally! I found your blog around early 2013 and I rely on so many of your recipes for cookies/cupcakes! I’m such a big fan now. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing all of these recipes with us… I have referred so many people to you for dessert recipes. I can’t wait to try these cookies, thanks!

    1. Dee, you are so sweet. Thank you for sharing my recipes and blog with others. That really means a to to me. I’m so glad you love my recipes! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Congratulations! And I can’t wait to see the rest of your Christmas cookie recipes. I am waiting to decide what to make for my cookie exchange. Super pumped!

  4. Happy 2nd Blog Anniversary!! I’ve made lots of your recipes, and I have yet to find one that hasn’t been absolutely scrumptious or well-written with the reader in mind- it shows how much effort and dedication you pour into writing those instructions so the readers can avoid potential mistakes. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipes, meticulous step-by-step instructions and inspiration! You totally deserve all the fabulous things that are happening to you and wishing you major success on the book as well!

    1. Siunna, thank you so much. This comment means a lot to me. I hope to influence others to get into the kitchen and I know how hard it is to begin without easy instructions. I had a ton of kitchen mistakes (still do!!) and I hope others can avoid it too. Thanks for the well wishes about my cookbook too. I appreciate your kind words so much!

  5. Just wondering if the caramel hardens, or does it stay sticky? I would like to give these out but don’t want a mess on a cookie plate

    1. 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.

  6. 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 😉

    1. “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!

  7. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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 🙂

  11. 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! 😀

    1. 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!

      1. 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

      2. 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.

  12. 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.


  13. 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.

  14. 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? 

  15. 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!

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Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally