Published On: Tue, Feb 4th, 2020

Turtle cookies

Turtle cookies recipe from James Hillery

Turtle cookies are made using chocolate cookie dough dipped in pecans and sugar, with a thumbprint of caramel in the middle.

Turtle cookies

Turtle cookies

Servings 24
Author James Hillery


For the cookies

  • 115 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 130 g light brown sugar
  • 1 large free-range egg, separated
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 g plain flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 110 g pecans, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar

For the caramel thumbprint

  • 180 g toffees
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

For the chocolate drizzle

  • 85 g dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or butter


For the cookies

  1. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric whisk or in a stand mixer with a paddle attached.

  2. Add the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Keep the egg white in a covered bowl in the fridge until needed later.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder and salt together. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Cover the dough with clingfilm and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour, or overnight if possible.

  4. Preheat the oven to 180oC/Gas Mark 4. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. Beat the reserved egg white until a little frothy. Mix the finely chopped pecan nuts in a bowl with the demerara sugar.

  5. Weigh out 16g (1⁄2oz) pieces of the dough and shape into balls. Dip each ball in the egg white, then roll in the pecan sugar mixture.

  6. Place on the lined baking sheets. Lightly press down the centre of each ball with your thumb. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-13 minutes, or until set.

  7. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.

For the caramel

  1. While the cookies are baking, make the caramel by placing the toffees and maple syrup in a saucepan. Gently warm over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the toffees are melted and you have a smooth caramel.

Build the cookie

  1. While the cookies are still warm, press down the centre of each one again with your thumb.

  2. Fill each thumbprint indent with the soft caramel. Let the cookies cool completely.

For the chocolate drizzle

  1. In a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, gently melt the chocolate and coconut oil or butter. Stir until fully melted and shiny, then transfer to a piping bag.

  2. Snip a small hole in the piping bag. Pipe the chocolate over the cookies. Let the chocolate set before eating.

As featured in January 2020 issue of Baking Heaven Magazine

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