Turtle Cookies

This recipe is adapted from The Kitchen is My Playground; I like to make the caramel sauce myself (the best caramel recipe ever!!! from The Pie and Pastry Bible) rather than use the candies and also I leave off the chocolate drizzle from the original recipe because it seems downright superfluous. A sprinkle of Maldon flaked sea salt takes these to beautiful and dizzying heights! The leftover caramel sauce is great on ice cream.

1 cup flour
1/3 c cocoa powder- (I like Valrhona)
1/4 t salt
8 T (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, separated plus one additional egg white
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Combine the flour, cocoa and salt (being lazy, I skip this step– but this is what you’re supposed to do).
Beat butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy- this takes a few minutes. Add the egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Add the dry mixture and mix until combined. Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Whisk the 2 egg whites until frothy.  Roll the dough into 1″ balls, dip first into egg whites and then roll in the pecans. Place the balls on a baking sheet and using a 1/2 t measuring spoon, gently make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
Bake at 350ยบ for 12 minutes and gently re-press the indentations after they come out of the oven. Fill each indentation with caramel (recipe follows) and sprinkle with flaked sea salt.

*Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1 T Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or corn syrup)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream, heated
2 T unsalted butter
1 t vanilla

In a heavy, at least 5 cup capacity saucepan stir together sugar, syrup and water using a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon. Heat over medium high heat (leaning towards high), stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling at the edges. Stop stirring and allow to boil undisturbed until it starts to color and thicken. At this point, contrary to the recipe, I give the pan a few gentle swirls on occasion. Keep boiling until the caramel is the color of a new copper penny. Remove from the heat and add the hot cream- it will bubble up like crazy; keep stirring until mixture is smooth; you may have to put it back on low heat to get it smooth. Stir in the butter and vanilla and pour the caramel out into a clean glass jar.

*A few notes about the caramel sauce: I do not use a thermometer because I think it’s easier and safer to eyeball the color rather than risking a bad burn dealing with the thermometer. Boiled sugar gets hotter than the sun so I figure the fewer objects I introduce into the equation, the less likely a burn will be. Caramel burns quickly (and smells horrible when it’s burned) so be careful not to go too far with the whole copper penny thing. I’d rather have it a little lighter than risk the burned sugar smell permeating the house. It takes a couple times to get the hang of it but it’s really quite simple to make and very much worth the learning curve– so… you’ll thank me later (unless you get burned in which case you’ll curse me later)! There’s really nothing like homemade caramel.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *