I am SO EXCITED to get back into baking after a crazy semester at school! I love anything that combines my love for both caramel and chocolate, so these turtle chocolate cookies are absolutely perfect. A not-too-sweet chocolate cookie rolled in pecans provides the perfect vessel for gooey caramel and rich chocolate. Check out my pics and the recipe after the jump!
For Christmas, both Gabby and I received Nikon DSLR cameras (me: D3400, Gabby: D5500), so photographing these cookies was my first chance to really test my new camera out! I had a ton of fun playing with all of the settings in manual mode. If you have any camera tips, I’d love to hear them in the comments!
Making Salted Caramel Turtle Chocolate Cookies
It’s super easy to create the chocolate dough for these cookies! Once the dough is formed, you stick the dough in the fridge for ~45 minutes to let it firm up a bit. In the mean time, you can unwrap (and eat) some caramels!
After 45 minutes has elapsed, you partition the dough into 1-in balls and then coat each dough ball in chopped pecans. After the cookies have been dropped on the cookie sheet, you simply take your thumb and create a nice indent in each cookie.
Once the cookies have baked and cooled, you dollop warm caramel in each little thumbprint pocket and then drizzle with chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt. YUM YUM YUM.
I love that the chocolate cookie isn’t too sweet, so it’s perfectly complemented by the pillow of caramel and chocolate on top. And let’s be honest, sea salt and caramel are just a match made in heaven.
Let’s be honest, sea salt and caramel are just a match made in heaven. via @theswirlblog
The Salted Caramel Turtle Chocolate Cookies Recipe
(original recipe from Cooking Classy, with my comments in bold)
Cook time: 12 minutes | Yields: 24 cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 large egg, yolk and white separated
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp buttermilk | Do not buy buttermilk! Place a splash of white vinegar in 2 Tbsp of milk and let sit for 5 minutes to make your own buttermilk!
- 1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans
- 15 caramels (such as Kraft) | You can find a bag in the candy aisle
- 2 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
- Flaky or coarse sea salt
- 3 oz chopped milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate
- 2 tsp shortening | I just used the leftover heavy cream from above because I don’t like shortening
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high spread until slightly pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Don’t skimp on the time! 2 minutes means 2 minutes! Mix in egg yolk (set egg white aside in a bowl in refrigerator) and vanilla extract. Blend in buttermilk. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Shape dough into a ball and drop onto a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten dough into a 6-inch disk then wrap with plastic wrap and chill 45 minutes, until slightly firm (or up to 1 day. If chilling longer than a few hours, I’d recommend letting the dough rest a room temperature a bit so the dough isn’t too firm and cracking when making indentations). 45 minutes is good!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove egg white from refrigerator and whisk vigorously until frothy. Place finely chopped pecans in a bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls (18 grams each, or something close) then working with one at a time, drop into egg white and roll to evenly coat the lift and allow excess egg white to run off and immediately place in bowl with chopped pecans and roll to evenly coat (if necessary, you can gently press into the nuts to help them stick). Transfer to Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets and make a deep indentation with thumb in the center of each dough ball. Bake in preheated oven until set, about 10 – 12 minutes. I put them in for 12. Remove from oven then using the bottom of a rounded teaspoon, gently press down on existing indentation (to create more space for caramel). Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place caramels and cream in a microwave safe bowl. Heat mixture in microwave on HIGH power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Spoon caramel into indentation in cookies and sprinkle tops with a small pinch of sea salt. If your caramel is lumpy when you stir it, add a splash more cream.
- Place chocolate and shortening (or heavy cream) into a separate microwave safe mixing bowl. Heat mixture on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Pour into a piping bag or Ziplog bag and cut tip of corner. Drizzle over cookies. Allow to set then store in an airtight container. Or eat them all in one sitting. Your call.
See something on Pinterest that you want me to try? Let me know in the comments! Have any photography suggestions? I’m new to DSLR cameras so any tips would be appreciated. Tweet me (@theswirlblog), leave a comment down below, or shoot me an email (email@example.com).