Super soft brownie-like cookies, topped with pecans and caramel Hershey kisses, and drizzled with caramel. Your favorite chocolate turtle candy, in cookie form!
Yay!! The weekend is here!!
And I’ve got the perfect treat for you today, to kick it all off!
These Turtle Kiss Cookies were created specifically with my awesome mom in mind. Her birthday was this last weekend, and I knew I wanted to make a special treat for her, a treat that she didn’t have to share with the rest of the family! (Happy Birthday Mom! Hopefully you hid the cookies so no one could sneak any from you!)
Ever since I was little, I remember my mom always loving those chocolate turtle candies; you know, those gooey chocolate-covered clusters of caramel and pecans? I wanted to come up with a cookie that featured all those yummy signature flavors, and here’s what happened:
I started with my favorite soft, brownie-like, chocolate cookie base (inspired by these), rolled them in chopped pecans, topped them with Hershey’s Caramel Kisses (which you can find at most grocery stores, Target, or Walmart), and drizzled them in more gooey caramel!
And even better news? You can make these with regular all-purpose flour, or make them gluten free, and they’ll turn our exactly the same!! That is, if you use Better Batter Gluten Free Flour (It’s not found in stores; you’ll find it online on Amazon or Vitacost). I’ve tried so many flour brands, and only Better Batter gives me those identical results in my cookies I’m looking for!
The dough does need some time (at least 3 hours) to chill in the refrigerator, before it’ll be firm enough to roll. So plan ahead; I promise, it’s worth the wait!!
Oh-and one more important tip: make sure the pans you bake the cookies on, can fit into your freezer! Once you bake the cookies, you’ll press those soft caramel Hershey Kisses into the top of each hot cookie; then you’ll stick the baking pan into the freezer right away, for just a few minutes. Otherwise those Kisses will melt, and it’ll be a sad (but still delicious!) day. I tested out sticking my baking sheets in the freezer at home before I baked these, and not all my pans could fit on the shelves, so I had to use some of my smaller-sized baking sheets to make this recipe work. Since everyone’s freezer is a different size, I highly recommend testing out your baking sheets in the freezer, to make sure they fit (and the freezer door can still close!) before baking these cookies! You may also need to shuffle things around in there like I did in my super-full freezer, to clear a spot for the warm baking sheet to sit.
Ok, so now that the freezer shelf is cleared and ready, and those caramel kisses are unwrapped, let’s bake!! Enjoy!
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour OR Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
- ½ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ½ cup Butter (1 stick), softened to room temperature
- ½ cup Light Brown Sugar
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cup chopped Pecan Pieces
- 21-22 Caramel Kisses, unwrapped
- 2 ounces Kraft Caramels (unwrapped), or Caramel Bits
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk to combine Flour, Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream together softened Butter, Light Brown Sugar, and Granulated Sugar, about 2 minutes. Add in Egg and Vanilla, and continue to beat for 1-2 minutes more, until very fluffy.
- Pour dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, stir by hand until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Cover dough tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2-3 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator.
- Place Pecan pieces in a small bowl. Using your hands or a cookie scoop, roll about 2 Tablespoons of dough into a ball, and roll the dough into the pecan pieces. Depending on how cold the dough is, you may need to use your hands to help get the pecans to stick onto the outside of the dough balls.
- Repeat with remaining dough. You should end up with about 21-22 balls of cookie dough.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cookies will look slightly underbaked as you remove them from the oven. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes.
- Lightly press a Caramel Kiss into the center of each cookie. I like to use my hands to help “hug” the dough around the Caramel Kiss a little bit.
- Immediately place the pan of cookies into the freezer for about 5 minutes. This will prevent the Kiss from melting.
- Remove from freezer, and transfer cookies to a wire rack to come to room temperature.
- Place caramels or caramel bits in a microwave safe bowl. On 50% power, microwave the caramel until melted (about 45-60 seconds), stopping the microwave to stir every 20 seconds. Watch the caramel carefully while it is microwaving, as it can boil over quickly.
- Drizzle melted caramel over cookies; allow the caramel some time to cool and harden.
- Store cookies in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer, in a freezer ziplock bag, for up to 4 months.
- Makes 21-22 cookies.
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