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? 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! 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!!
- • 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?