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5 from 2 votes

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

These Turtle Thumbprint Cookies are based on the classic dessert with tender chocolate cookies, melted caramel centers and pecans!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 180kcal


  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 16 soft caramels like Werther's Soft Caramel Candies * See Note
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, or use a hand mixer, to cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes on medium high speed. Then add egg and vanilla and beat 30-60 seconds more until incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt. Then add to wet mixture. Use a rubber spatula to stir together to avoid over mixing.
  • Divide dough into 16 portions and place onto baking sheets. Unwrap caramels and fold ends towards middle of candy to make little balls and place into center of each dough ball. Bake for 11 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle tops with pecan pieces. Let cookies continue to cool and finish baking on baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy warm or keep in air tight container for 5 days.


We tested Werther's Soft Caramels and Werther's Chewy Caramels. The soft caramels (pink) worked like a charm. The chewy (blue) melted in the oven but when they came to room temperature the caramels were hard to bite into. 
If you are unable to find soft caramels, you can melt the chewy caramels with 2 tbsp heavy cream, then create indentions in the cookies and fill them with the liquid caramel immediately after baking. Then top with pecan pieces. 
If the cookies puff up while baking, use a spoon to re-indent the centers before filling. 


Sodium: 103mg | Calcium: 23mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 197IU | Sugar: 19g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 82mg | Cholesterol: 27mg | Calories: 180kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Fat: 8g | Protein: 2g | Carbohydrates: 26g | Iron: 1mg