Chocolate Pecan Caramel Cluster Cookies!!

We’ve all had Chocolate Turtles right? Chocolate Turtles, Pecan Turtles, whatever you want to call them. They are FREAKING DELICIOUS. My friend, Nancy, recently sent me some from Vancouver. Purdy’s Sweet Georgia Browns. Oh. My. Gawd. THESE were the best chocolate turtles I have ever had. Ever. They have roasted and salted jumbo Georgia pecans, topped with smooth caramel and creamy milk chocolate. HELLO?!  I can’t say enough about these.

Nancy! My homeslice, girlfriend. Thank you for sending me these!

As soon as I ate one, my mind was racing. .  sooooo good. .  how could I re-create this freakin’ awesome chocolate turtle in a COOKIE?

Well, here’s my second attempt. I might keep trying to improve these . .  but these are pretty damn good.  They have it all. The chocolate, the gooey caramel from the Rolos and/or Hershey’s Caramel Kisses, the pecans and more caramel sauce on top, along with the hint of saltiness. Oh my! Damn, I’m good. And don’t try to melt real caramel candy (which I did for my first attempt). It was a hot mess.

Since it’s the holidays, I am in crazy baking holiday/gifting mode. Check back over here next week. I’ll be doing some baking. Everyday. Because, for me, the holidays aren’t complete without lots of cookies and lots of chocolate.

Growing up, my dad always seemed to get a few different kinds of chocolates as holiday presents. Chocolate Truffles and other chocolate assortments from See’s, Ghirardelli, etc. .  and I was always the one taking one bite out of each one and putting back the rest.  Who needs a card or back of a box to look at and tell you what flavor each one is when you can sample each one and get a taste? :P  Did anyone else do this when they were younger? OK, I still do this now. But I probably won’t be doing this anymore. Now, my oldest daughter is older so she catches on to what I am doing more and more and I have to set a good example. BAH! :P  Or, I could blame it on Daddy. .  or Uncle Jimmy? Hmmmm.

I hope you enjoy!

And if you haven’t entered, click here to see several giveaways I have going on now! Happy Holidays and cheers to everyone!!

Chocolate Pecan Caramel Cluster Cookies!!
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies

Ingredients
  • • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • • 1½ cup packed brown sugar
  • • 2 eggs
  • • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • • 2 cups blend of chocolate chips (1 cup semi-sweet morsels, 1 cup milk chocolate morsels)
  • • a bag of Rolos; unwrapped OR Hershey’s Caramel Kisses
  • • Roasted pecans
  • CARAMEL TOPPING:
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3½ tablespoons evaporated fat-free milk, divided (don’t sweat it if you can’t find fat-free evaporated milk)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • coarse sea salt

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until it is nice and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes on medium-high speed). Add both eggs and the vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  2. Prep your dry ingredients and add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour mixture until it has been fully incorporated. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add the chocolate chips. Gently mix by hand. The cookie batter should be somewhat thick.
  3. Drop about 2 tablespoons of the cookie dough or use a medium cookie scoop and place the cookie dough ball onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or your Silpat non-stick baking mat. Gently press about 2-3 rolos (or kisses) into each cookie dough ball. Bake for about 10 minutes until the edges are nice and golden brown. Turn OFF the oven and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes. Watch your cookies so they don’t burn! Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to stay on the cookie sheet for an additional 2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. While still on the cookie sheet, gently press the pecans into each cookie. Place a few pecans on each or you can crumble up the pecans and sprinkle some on.
  4. While the cookies are cooling more, prepare the caramel topping: melt ¼ cup butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add ¼ cup brown sugar and 1½ tablespoons evaporated milk; whisk together and cook for about 2 minutes over LOW heat.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and powdered sugar; stir with a whisk until smooth. Pour the slightly cooled caramel sauce into a ziploc bag and cut off the tip (or, you can just use a fork to drizzle). Drizzle the caramel sauce over the cookies. Immediately sprinkle with a little sea salt over each. Enjoy!!

I just added on from this Recipe and again, was inspired by the Sweet Georgia Browns that Nancy sent to me.

Cookie dough balls before they go into the oven. I used Hershey’s CARAMEL Kisses here.

Fresh out of the oven. I gently pressed the pecans into the cookies.

Here they are, in all their glory.

They also packaged up GREAT in my mason jars!!!  You have to get the mason jars with a wider mouth so the cookies FIT! And I used a cupcake liner as decoration and tied a ribbon and card/tag on! What do you think?

 

 

 

 

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16 Responses to "Chocolate Pecan Caramel Cluster Cookies!!"

Add Comment
  1. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

    December 9, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Those look AWESOME. I love the sweet/salty combination. (And genius idea to use caramel-filled chocolate kisses… I practically forgot those existed!)

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      December 10, 2012 at 12:39 am

      Allison,
      Ha! I know what you mean! I was reminded of all the awesome seasonal special flavors that Hershey’s comes out with for the holidays! Did you know they also have candy cane Kisses. . *LOVE*

      Reply
      • Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

        December 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm

        Whoa, I did NOT know that, but those sound amazing too! And like they are just crying out to be baked into something delicious… brownies perhaps. :)

        Reply
  2. Brandi

    December 9, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Those look amazing Alice!! They look like sweet gooey goodness! Man, I bet they’re rich….yummy!!!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      December 10, 2012 at 12:41 am

      Thank you, Brandi! They were super yummy. . I had to pack them up and give most of them away in fear of me eating all of them! I love sweet + salty!

      Reply
  3. Allilau

    December 9, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Chocolate turtles!?! Funny as I clink on the link, I totally expected to see a little choccie turtle (I know, I’m naff!) Gorgeous goey cookie is what I saw instead, yum!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      December 10, 2012 at 12:41 am

      Hahha, Thank you Alice!! :)

      Reply
  4. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    December 9, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I’m SO happy you like the chocolates. I knew you would because you’re a chocolate loving woman just like me. I’m even happier that they inspired you to make these crazy amazing cookies. They’ve got everything that’s good and pure in world – chocolate, pecans, caramel – you really can’t ask for more! To this day, I’ll take a bite out of a chocolate and leave the rest in the box. I felt guilty doing it as a kid but hey, I’m an adult now and if someone gives me a box of chocolates, it’s mine to do as I please (no matter how disgusting the habit is but eh, whatevs!) ;)

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      December 10, 2012 at 12:44 am

      Haha, love it!! We both love chocolate AND do the same thing WITH chocolates. . I can’t help myself. . I have to know how each one tastes. . :) thank you, again! Loved everything!!

      Reply
  5. YinMom YangMom Allie

    December 9, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Oh, Alice, you are evil! These look absolutely killer… What a fabulous idea! I love!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      December 10, 2012 at 12:44 am

      Haha, Thank you Allie!! I hope you try these!!

      Reply
  6. Sarah

    December 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I am so jealous! I want some. They look so amazingly good. I guess I’ll have to settle more making my own and drooling over them as Josh eats them. I’ll just sneak a bite.

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      December 11, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you, Sarah! These were seriously dangerous and YUMMY. I had to get them out of house stat so gave the rest away to my neighbors after I ate 2 . . and my hubby and the girls ate a few too.

      Reply
  7. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    December 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Gulp! I’m afraid to share this because I know I can finish them by myself (me being a piggy, lol). I love all the combo – gorgeous!!! Have fun baking. I definitely need to catch up with that, too.

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      December 11, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      Thank you so much, Linda! :) I’m a piggy too when it comes to cookies. . but that’s why I have to give them away! :)

      Reply
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