One of my favorite Christmas memories involves the candy my mom used to make as gifts for family and friends. One of her especially wonderful treats were the turtle candies handmade with her wonderful caramel recipe. A dollop of rich caramel buried little pecan legs, head and tail, leaving just enough exposed to suggest what it was, while the Guittard chocolate shell gave it the satisfying crunch that can only come from good quality, tempered chocolate. I was always enchanted with the turtles, and have made them several Christmas myself in honor of her tradition.
These are a yummy cookie variation of mom’s turtle candies. Soft and chewy, with a little bit of pecan crunch, and drizzled with beautiful caramel.
9 oz. good quality bittersweet (60%) chocolate, chopped up
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup caramel sauce (make sure you use a firm caramel sauce that won’t run off the cookie)
In a double boiler, (or a small stainless steel bowl set over a pan of very low simmering water), place the chocolate and butter. Melt on very low heat until fully melted and blended together. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well mixed. Add the melted chocolate/butter.
Add the remaining dry ingredients and nuts and mix until combined.
Let rest in refrigerator until firm enough to scoop. Using a medium (#40) cookie scoop, form balls and place on a baking sheet prepared with either parchment or lined with a silpat liner.
Bake at 325 degrees F. for 10 minutes.
Let sit on baking sheet for a couple of minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
When cooled, drizzle with caramel sauce. Make sure it’s a firmer caramel sauce that won’t just run off the cookie.