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I try to not to make lofty claims when it comes to the recipes you see here on MBA. I’m certainly known to wax poetic about my latest creations, but I try not to toss around words like best, perfect, etc. too often. That’s simply because I know tastes vary and what pleases my palette, may simply not entice you at all.

Then one day I created these Turtle Cookies. I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie dough base and added caramel bits and chopped pecans into the mix. After one taste of the dough, I knew I had something amazing sitting in my KitchenAid. I impatiently waited for the dough to chill, rolled it into balls and threw them into oven. Then I gawked at them through the oven door while crossing my fingers hoping that the caramel pieces wouldn’t do something funky to the cookies.

They baked up perfectly – the caramel pieces melted a bit and created an an incredible, buttery, flavor within the cookies. Once they cooled, the caramel bits turned into slightly crunchy little nuggets of toffee – which paired perfectly with the pecans and dark chocolate chips.

I was proud of these cookies and knew if I kept them in the house, I’d devour them – one after another until I ended up in a cookie induced coma. So I packed them up and dropped them off to my dad and John, my mom’s boyfriend. Within a few hours I received a text message from my mom and a phone call from my dad declaring these babies to be, “the best cookies ever”.

I really think I’ve got cookie nirvana here, but I’d love to know what you think. Although these cookies call for a 24 hour chill time, I guarantee you’ll think they are worth every single minute!

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Turtle Cookies

By: Jamie
4 from 15 ratings
Servings: 18 5-inch cookies


  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 ⅔ cups bread flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup caramel bits
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  • 1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  • 2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • 3. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds.
  • 4. Drop chocolate pieces, caramel bits, and pecans into dough and gently combine.
  • 5. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
  • 6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  • 7. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet
  • 8. Bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more.
  • 9. Repeat with remaining dough.


-For regular sized cookies, use a heaping tablespoon and bake for approximately 12 minutes.
-I used Caramel Bits from King Arthur Flour, but I have seen the Kraft variety at my local market - although I can not attest to how they perform in this recipe.
-Recipe adapted from Jacques Torres and The New York Times.

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  1. pbk says:

    So I made these for a friend’s birthday and they came out perfect.  I used all purpose flour for the whole recipe and did not remove the 2T since I’m at high altitude.  I formed the dough into balls prior to the 24 hours in the fridge.  I made them bigger than a tablespoon but smaller than a golf ball and did not crowd the cookie sheet, making just two rows instead of three, so all the cookies were on the outer edge of the sheet.  I went for 12 minutes, they still looked slightly underdone, still puffy, and barely golden on top when I took them out.  I let them sit on the still hot sheet for one minute, loosened them with a spatula and let them sit another two or so minutes before transferring to a wire rack.  I put the sheet in the freezer to cool back down before baking another batch and I put the wire rack of cooling cookies in the fridge while the next batch was baking.  I used Kraft caramel bits with no issues.  They didn’t stick or get too flat.  These cookies are basically perfect.  If I wasn’t traveling with them I might would drizzle them with melted chocolate and caramel for added oomph but they’re divine as is.  This recipe is a keeper!

    1. Jamie says:

      So happy to hear you enjoyed the cookies! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback!

  2. Shirley says:

    In Canada we have Skor bits for caramel bits. In the US I have substituted Heath bits in some recipes, but Heath bits are covered in chocolate, so the results are different. Not that anyone has not begged for the recipe whichever bits I used. Allergy alert – caramel bits may contain almonds, so read the label carefully for hidden ingredients if allergies are a concern. Re the cook who asked about the cookies sticking; did she use caramels, which are not as firm as bits? Will try this recipe today – has all my favourite ingredients. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Brittany eyre says:

    I made this recipe 2 weeks ago. ..and fell head over heels in love! The flavor is out of this world…and they baked up so beautifully! I made another batch a week later for a work function. …but they didn’t bake the same!….they came out totally I made another batch (yes my fridge was FULL of chilling cookie dough bowls…lol.) but they were yet again unsuccessful! They tasted good…looked absolutely terrible…flat and hard. What could have gone wrong? !… same exact recipe each time, with only a week apart. I LOVED these cookies so much the first time please tell me what happened to the other batches…

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi, Brittany! I’m so sorry the cookies didn’t turn out the last two times! I suppose several things could have happened: maybe the pan or the dough was too warm? I’m not sure, but I hope you give them a go again! I’m glad they turned out the first time!

  4. Rebecca says:

    Do you need to have the butter come to room temp ?

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi, Rebecca! Yes, the butter needs to be at room temperature to mix correctly. Let me know if I can do anything else for you!

  5. Kelsey says:

    Is it a must to chill? What will the chilling do? I really want to make these today so can I not chill? please reply asap!

    1. Jamie says:

      The chilling will improve the flavor and texture of the cookies; however, I’ve definitely baked them without chilling. They’re good, but not as amazing as when you allow them to chill. Enjoy!

  6. Margie says:

    These are great. I didn’t expect them to be much different from the regular choc. chip cookies, but they have an extra spark.

    1. Jamie says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Margie! So glad to hear you enjoyed them.

  7. Jackie says:

    Do you have a gluten free adaptation for this? Just curious, they sound delicious!!!

    1. Jamie says:

      I haven’t tested these cookies as gluten-free but let me know how they turn out if you try it. Thanks for stopping by.


    2. Jackie says:

      I just made baked these today. Two different batches. One with my gluten free all purpose flour I usually use mixed with a gluten free cake flour I mixed together. I than made a homemade blend of GF flour and mixed it with the GF cake flour. They both turned out amazing!!!! Although the completely homemade version I feel is a little bit better. Thanks for the recipe base, I will definitely be using it again!

    3. Jamie says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for visiting.


  8. cynthia javier says:

    what is the best alternative for the caramel bits? And can i replace the pecans because it is very expensive here in the PHilippines can i use cashew nuts insy=tead> thanks

    1. Jamie says:

      Cashews will work just fine and you might try cutting up soft caramel candies in place of the caramel bits. I hope this helps.


    2. Margie says:

      I used the heath bits from the grocery store. Just great.

  9. Maria says:

    I had to walk away or I would keep eating these cookies! They are delicious. I used the Kraft carmel bits and had no issues. They easily came off the parchment paper. Yummy!

    1. Jamie says:

      Yay! I am so glad to hear you enjoyed them – totally addictive, right? Enjoy!