Turtle Thumbprint Cookies


Tis the season for Christmas baking. And every year, i go on the hunt to find some new recipes to add to the traditional favorites we eat every Holiday season. I think Christmas is best enjoyed with a healthy mix of both nostalgic and fresh components. Which is why i would absolutely throw a fit if Pam didn’t make her annual batch of Rosebud cookies.

Over the years, many of the new recipes have been one-timers…pretty to look at, but just not good enough to make the “must have” list. So i wasn’t setting the bar too high on this one. I was wrong.  This one is good. So good that i have hidden them in the depths of my freezer until the Christmas festivities begin…and away from the sneaky grabby hands that reside in this household…all four sets of them!


 If you love Turtles, these cookies are calling your name. Pecans, cocoa and salted caramel are a winning combination. Throw in some whipping cream and milk chocolate and it gets downright ridiculous. In a good way.

turtles 15

My only suggestion is to double the recipe right off the bat. Because these sneaky little bandits go down way too easy…


Turtle Thumbprint Cookies
  • For the Cookies:
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • For the Caramel Thumbprint:
  • 16 unwrapped caramel squares
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • Fleur de sel, or other flaked sea salt, for sprinkling, optional
  • For the Chocolate Drizzle:
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil or shortening
  1. For the cookies:
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined and fluffy. Add in the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla extract. Reserve the egg white in a separate container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat just until combined. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight, or until the dough is chilled and firm.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  5. Lightly beat the reserved egg white. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Dip each ball in the egg white, then roll in the pecans, pressing lightly to coat well. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly press down the center of each ball with your thumb.
  6. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until set. Set the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let cool until just warm.
  7. For the caramel:
  8. While the cookies are baking, combine the caramel squares and cream in a small saucepan set over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth.
  9. When the cookies are warm, press down the center of each cookie again with your thumb or the opposite end of a wooden spatula. Spoon about a ½ teaspoon of caramel into each thumbprint. Sprinkle the caramel with Fleur de sel to taste. Let cool completely.
  10. For the chocolate drizzle:
  11. In a small heat-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and oil in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Remove the chocolate to a small zip-top baggie and cut a small hole in one corner. Pipe the chocolate over the cookies. Let the chocolate set before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
I doubled the recipe to make enough for Christmas feasting...

**This recipe is originally adapted from Dawn’s Cookies




It’s been a yummy start to my Christmas baking…i think you’ll love them too! And while we’re on the subject, I’m still looking for one more recipe to add to the mix this year…what are your favourite Christmas goodies?