Turtle Cookies

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!

Turtle Cookies

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies


2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 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.

Copyright © My Baking Addiction.

106 Responses to “Turtle Cookies”

  1. The Italian Dish — September 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Be still my heart. The perfect marriage between my loves – pecans, caramel and chocolate. Must make.


  2. My Dad normally doesn’t sway much from the traditional chocolate chip cookie, but Turtles are his favorite candy. I think he would absolutely LOVE these cookies!


  3. Rachael — September 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    These look oh so yummy. Yeah that’s what I need to see at 10pm. p.s. these would be divine with walnuts and maybe a whole wheat flour…just a thought ;)


  4. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — September 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Oooh, I almost bought the Kraft Caramel Bits the other day because they are soooo hard to find where I live, but I talked myself out of it because I didn’t have a recipe in mind. I think I might need to go back and buy them. These look amazing!


    • Debbie — October 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Where do you find the kraft caramel bits???

  5. Jen — September 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Jamie! I made your NYTimes Cookie recipe. They were freakin amazing! I guess my question is that recipe says to let them sit tight in the fridge for awhile, but this post says you went right on ahead and baked them. Did you notice a big difference??

    Thanks for this one, I’ve been craving a new cookie recipe!


    • Jamie — September 7, 2011 at 6:33 am

      Thanks for pointing that out. I actually did chill the dough, just forgot about that step when I wrote the post. The directions are correct, but I am certain you can get away with a less than 24 hour chill time. I’ve done it before! Thanks so much!

  6. Anna @ hiddenponies — September 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Um, wow. A perfect chocolate chip cookie PLUS caramel and pecans can only be a good thing, can’t wait to try them! I’ve done something like this with skor bits but I imagine caramel pieces would be even better!


  7. Cookin' Canuck — September 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Okay, now I know I HAVE to make these. If the ingredients list and photos weren’t enough to convince me (and believe me, they were), your description sealed the deal.


  8. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — September 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Such a fabulous idea! I could use a little cookie nirvana!


  9. jas — September 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    ohmygosh! these look sooo good! I can’t wait to try them out – I’ve been craving a (variation of) chocolate chip cookie!


  10. Becca — September 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    My goodness those sound like terrific cookies! I really really really want to make these, like right this instant, but it’s late…grr.


  11. Ann — September 7, 2011 at 12:02 am

    YAY! Not only did you think they were the best…but your family did, too. Don’t you just LOVE when that happens?! Congratulations! I have to say…if they were in front of me, I’d probably be in a sugar induced coma, too! …..but not before I wrote a comment about how wonderful they are!


  12. lidia@ sugarslut — September 7, 2011 at 12:23 am

    mmm turtle cookies, what more can one ask for?


  13. Baker Street — September 7, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Jamie! These look so good! Can’t wait to try it. Big fan of caramel.


  14. Emily — September 7, 2011 at 1:52 am

    I’m so excited to make these, they look amazing. You never disappoint me, and your recipes are always a success. I look forward to what you make next!


  15. Kathryn — September 7, 2011 at 4:17 am

    These do look like the best cookies ever – I’m going to have to try them!


  16. Brenda — September 7, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Sounds so yummy! Have you tried the recipe for choc chip cookies using unbleached King Arthur flour? Just trying to simplify and wondering what the cake/bread flour combination brings to the table. Thank you!


  17. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — September 7, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Mmmm anything turtles is good for me! Yum!


  18. Carrie — September 7, 2011 at 7:08 am

    When I go to print the recipe, the directions part doesn’t print :( All that shows up is the ingredients and notes


    • Jamie — September 7, 2011 at 8:37 am

      This is the first time I used a new plugin for the recipe format. We tested it last night and everything seemed to be functioning properly – however, clearly it is not. I have contacted my developer and am hopeful that we will have this resolved today. Thanks so much for letting me know.

    • Jenny Lou — September 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm

      I just tried printing it and couldn’t get it all either. Hope you can get it fixed soon! My cookie monster is waiting!

    • Jamie — September 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      Jenn Lou-
      We are working on it right now. You can always highlight the recipe, cut it and then paste into a blank document for printing. We are hoping to have it up and running by tomorrow.

  19. Cassie Laemmli — September 7, 2011 at 7:22 am

    I have a family of chocolate chip cookie lovers that I would love to share these with. Most of them also love turtle candies so I’m sure this would be a winning recipe. I love pecans added to anything!


  20. CAROLINA — September 7, 2011 at 7:28 am



    • Jamie — September 7, 2011 at 8:33 am

      I stick of butter equals 113.4 grams or 4 ounces. Have a great day!

  21. Mommyof2Girlz/StephD — September 7, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I was so excited to wake and see this recipe in my inbox, it looks amazing and I am a huge turtle fan :)


  22. The Sweet Cupcaker — September 7, 2011 at 8:02 am

    these look scrumptious! can’t wait to try them!


  23. Savorique — September 7, 2011 at 8:03 am

    I think it’s time you ran you own food business to fully leverage your cooking and creativity skills. Stop teasing us with your mouth watering pics! ;)


  24. Caroline @ chocolate and carrots — September 7, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Mmm…these look so good. I bet they just melt in your mouth! :-)


  25. Tara @ The Butter Dish — September 7, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I often wonder if our slow little reptilian friends ever realize one of the greatest sweet treats ever invented has been named in their honor.

    Do you think they would care or would they let it go to their heads? Now to have cookies too….I’m thinking it’s best to keep that to ourselves (and the cookies) or we could have a whole turtle ego-nation. ☺


  26. Cookie Lover — September 7, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Jamie, these look and sound phenomenal. Dough is in the ‘fridge. Great timing, too. This dreary day lends itself to something from the oven. Thanks!!!! Keep up the GREAT work!!!


  27. Deborah — September 7, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Is it bad that I want some of these for breakfast?? :)


  28. Blog is the New Black — September 7, 2011 at 10:16 am

    This recipe is nostalgic for me. I remember making turtle brownies with my mom when I was younger- I’m sure these are insanely delicious!


  29. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — September 7, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Yum! These look amazing! I love everything about them!


  30. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — September 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    These look so soft and perfectly delicious! I can’t wait to add them to my cookie collection :)


  31. Barbara | Creative Culinary — September 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I’ve made the cookies from the NYT and they are good but not the best in my book. Now that being said…in my neck of the woods there is an ingredient that we always add that can not just make a cookie fall but a grown woman cry.

    That ingredient? 5,280′

    So I need to try again but in the meantime I’ve happened upon a recipe I love SO much (taste and final output with my high altitude configurations!) that I just know caramel bits would only enhance it.

    Though it can be hard if we’re impatient for a cookie, I always put mine in the freezer overnight. Something about that time letting the ingredients meld just makes for a better cookie. I actually have gotten into the habit of rolling the dough into balls and freezing them on cookie trays and then storing them in Ziploc bags. That way we can bake them when we feel the urge for a cookie or two and not be tempted to devour the whole batch at once…or feel required to give them away!


  32. Sarah @TheExPatBride — September 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Do you refrigerate the dough for all your cookies? Or just these? What’s the reason?

    – sorry baking novice here!


  33. New Orleans Honey — September 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Hey Barbara @CC, we have the complete opposite problems. I’m so far below sea level and you are so high in the sky.
    Jamie, love the sound of these cookies. I can’t wait to get off work and get my G-Babies so we can shop for ingreds together.Also will bring your ingredient list for your favorite chocolate chip cookies. Their dad always buys those tubs of cookie mix from the dairy section .The girls love to cook/bake with me. The 5 yr. old loves cupcakes so you know we’re trying all of yours, 1 recipe @ a time.Thanks so much for all the great recipes.


  34. The Foodnatic — September 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I am going to have to try to make these organic and possibly vegan if i can. I would LOVE to see if my son likes these. They sound good to me.


  35. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — September 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    These look absolutely amazing! I can hear the pecan fan in my life begging for them right now…


  36. Manderley — September 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Que ricas las galletas, están perfectas. Seguro que en mi casa acaban con ellas en dos segundos.



  37. Robin — September 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I love turtles and continue to search for an all time great chocolate chip cookie recipe. So, I look forward to trying these. I doubt I can find caramel bits where I live, but still have some toffee bits from my last trip to the States. Thanks for the recipe!


  38. Happy When Not Hungry — September 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I am def trying these!!!


  39. Pam — September 7, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Cookie nirvana sounds right. I can almost taste that melted caramel just reading the recipe. Yummy!!!!


  40. Jackie — September 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Jamie

    What brand of dark chocolate chips did you use in this recipe. Did you use a cookie scoop or scale to get 31/2 ounces of dough. If, you used a scoop what size did you use.


    • Jamie — September 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      I used Ghirardelli chocolate for this recipe. I also used a scale to weight the dough. The cookies pictured were about 2.5 – 3.0 ounces. Hope this helps! Have a delicious day!

  41. Lauren at Keep It Sweet — September 9, 2011 at 6:23 am

    I can see why you love these cookies, they really do look perfect!


  42. Katie — September 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I love chocolate chip cookies and I love caramel so naturally I can’t wait to give these a try!


  43. Valerie — September 10, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Hey Jamie! First of all, thank you for sharing all these recipes!
    I’ve just baked these turtle cookies with half the amount of sugar. I left the dough in a Tupperware for 36 hours and took it out this morning to bake. Are these supposed to be soft cookies? Your cookies awesome, how did you get the “cracked” effect and have them in such light brown colours? Mine turned out dark brown without cracks and they look like little round humps, slightly flatter at the edges. Is there a way I can post a picture so that you can understand what I mean? Do you have any tips? Thank you!


    • Jamie — September 10, 2011 at 10:11 am

      If you followed the recipes and used all of the other ingredients, I am guessing the lack sugar could have effected the appearance of your cookies. I have used this base recipe over 15 times and have always ended up with the same appearance. You can send a photo to jamie@mybakingaddiction.com. Thanks!

  44. Mellie — September 10, 2011 at 11:41 am

    You had me at “turtle” and you had me again at “cookie”!


  45. Valerie — September 11, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Thank you for the reply. Are these meant to be soft cookies? May I know the reason for “Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more.”? Would it make a difference if I transfer the cookies immediately onto a rack?


  46. Sugar Girl — September 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I tried these using Kraft caramels, and they turned out perfectly. If I had it to do over again, I might cut the caramels in half because they are quite large, but OH MY! Make sure and follow the directions and allow for the full chilling time; it really does make a difference in the flavor. (I know because I couldn’t wait and baked a few too early. They were still good, but not at the peak of perfection.)


  47. Lauren @ hey, who cut the cheese? — September 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I would like some of these right about now. They look delicious!


  48. shelly (cookies and cups) — September 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    These looks do look like they’re the best…there’s nothing better than an amped up chocolate chip :)


  49. Valerie — September 22, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Oh my, these are HUGE! And soooooo good! I didn’t have any of the caramel bites but did have caramels. I just cut them into 8s.



  50. Aimee — September 26, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Thank you! Thank you! for the recipe.. will never look back at another recipe again.. you can add anything you want to this recipe yummm… added 2 mashed bananas, chocolate chip, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg to die for…


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