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Turtle Shortbread Cookies

Tender shortbread topped with a pecan, a dollop of a caramel, and a chocolate coating. One of our very favorite cookies!
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: caramel pecan chocolate shortbread, easy christmas cookies, turtle shortbread cookies
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories: 115kcal
Author: Katie Shaw


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


  • 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


  • 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 a 2-inch wide 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.


These are also good with almonds or cashews.
If you don't have salted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.


Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 197IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg