Fudgy chocolate cookies with pecans and caramel. Like your favorite turtle chocolate candies in cookie form! This cookie dough requires at least 3 hours to chill.
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 2/3 cup (55g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk (any kind, dairy or non)
- 3/4 cup (105g) finely chopped pecans
- homemade salted caramel
- Preliminary note: This cookie dough requires at least 3 hours of chilling, but I prefer to chill the dough overnight. The colder the dough, the thicker the cookies.
- In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and then beat on high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour into the wet ingredients. Beat on low until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Switch to high speed and beat in the milk. The cookie dough will be sticky and tacky. Cover dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this sticky cookie dough.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This makes the chilled cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- Scoop and roll dough, a heaping 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls. Roll each in chopped pecans. Arrange 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheets. The cookie dough is certainly sticky, so wipe your hands clean after every few balls of dough you shape.
- Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes or until the edges appear set and the centers still look soft. Tip: If they aren’t really spreading by minute 9, remove them from the oven and lightly bang the baking sheet on the counter 2-3x. This helps initiate that spread. Return to the oven to continue baking.
- Cool cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies will slightly deflate as they cool. Drizzle each with salted caramel.
- Cover leftover cookies tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies can be frozen for up to 3 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, preheat the oven, then roll in chopped pecans. Bake as directed. Store any leftover caramel in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm the caramel up in the microwave for a few seconds before using in a recipe.
- 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