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Turtle Shortbread Cookies


You’ll love how this buttery shortbread blends with a chewy caramel, pecan, and chocolate topping. Perfect for the holidays or any time at all.

1 dozen cookies on wire rack.

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • The cookie base is buttery and delicious. The perfect shortbread recipe, this one will replace all others in your recipe box.
  • The pecans add a lovely crunch. Just the right amount of texture and a touch of saltiness.
  • The chocolate and caramel topping is out of this world! Chewy, sweet, and perfect.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on counter.

You’ll need the following to make these indulgent treats:

  • salted butter
  • brown sugar
  • all-purpose flour
  • pecan halves
  • heavy cream or half and half
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate
  • shortening

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  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Baking Sheet
  • Microwave-safe bowls

🍴Instructions

Step One: make the dough

mixing bowl with shortbread dough.

Preheat your oven to 325° Fahrenheit. Place two baking sheets on the oven’s middle and top racks. Then, line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

To make the cookie dough, cream together butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups of flour to the mixture and mix on low speed until the flour is mixed in. The cookie dough will appear very crumbly, but do not add any liquid. Turn it onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining ¼ cup of flour by hand.

Step Two: shape into a log

shortbread dough on counter.

Shape the cookie dough into a log using your hands. You might find it easier to place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap before shaping, then unwrap.

Step three

sliced cookies dough on baking sheet.

Cut the dough into slices that are half an inch thick. Put the cookies on two baking sheets. The cookies will not spread much, so you can put them close together.

Step four: bake

baked cookies on rack.

Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, until they are golden brown on the edges and bottom. Let them cool completely before adding the caramel and chocolate.

Step five: top

caramel, pecans, and chocolate on top of cookies.

Put the caramel and cream in a bowl and microwave on low for 30 seconds. Stir it and then microwave for another 30 seconds. It should be melted by then. Put a pecan half in the center of each cookie. Then, let the caramel set up. Melt the chocolate and shortening and add it to each cookie. You can smooth it out with a spoon if you’d like.

Step six: let set

many small round cookies on wire rack.

The chocolate will set and harden over time. This will depend on the temperature of your room. If you want it to set faster, you can put the cookies in the fridge. Once the chocolate has hardened, you can stack them.

🥫 Storage instructions

Make sure the cookies are completely cool before storing them. You can either store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge. If you choose to store them in the fridge, be sure to let them come back to room temperature before eating them so they don’t get too cold and hard.

If your kitchen is warm, the chocolate might melt a bit and get messy.

🔍 FAQs

Are the cookies chewy or crumbly?

Buttery and slightly crumbly with crisp edges

Can I make them ahead of time?

Yes! The fully baked and assembled cookies freeze well. You could also make the shortbread dough and freeze it.

What about a different type of chocolate?

Semi-sweet works best, but you could use milk chocolate if you like things on the sweeter side.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Don’t add any liquid to the dough! I know it looks impossibly dry and crumbly, but I promise it comes together when you turn it out on the counter
  • If your chocolate or caramel cools too quickly while you’re working, just pop it back in the microwave.
  • The shortening gives you smoother chocolate and more time to work, but it will take a bit longer to set up than you might be used to.

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

Having a cozy Christmas gathering? Try these recipes too:

📖 Here’s the recipe

finished cookies on rack
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Turtle Shortbread Cookies

Print Recipe
Click here to grab a free seasonal e-cookbook!

Equipment

  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Baking Sheet
  • Microwave-safe bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • cups all purpose flour
  • 30 pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 11 ounce bag caramels, unwrapped or caramel bits
  • 1 12 ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon shortening

Instructions

  • Prep. Preheat your oven to 325° Fahrenheit with two racks. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Make dough. Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups of flour and mix on low until the flour is mixed in. The cookie dough will appear very crumbly, but do not add any liquid. Turn it on onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining ¼ cup of flour by hand.
  • Shape into a log and cut. Shape the cookie dough into 2-inch log using your hands. You may find it easier to place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap before shaping, then unwrap. Cut into half-inch slices.
  • Bake. Arrange the cookies on two baking sheets, spaced ½ inch apart in all directions. (They won't spread much.) Bake in preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, until the edges and bottoms of the cookies are golden brown. Let them cool completely before adding the caramel and chocolate.
  • Top. Melt caramel and cream in the microwave on low for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until it is completely smooth and melted. Drop Place a pecan half in the center of each cookie and let the caramel set up. Melt the chocolate and shortening and add a spoonful to the top of each cookie. You can smooth it out with a spoon if you'd like.
  • Let set. Let the chocolate set until hardened. The time for this will vary depending on the temperature of your room. You can place the cookies in the fridge to speed it up. Once the chocolate has set, you can stack the cookies.

Notes

These are also good with almonds or cashews.
If you don’t have salted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: caramel pecan chocolate shortbread, easy christmas cookies, turtle shortbread cookies
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @heartscontentfarmhouse so I can see!

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