We’re just a few weeks away from Thanksgiving which means that the holiday season is upon us. I always tell myself that I’m going to share a bunch of our families’ favorite cookie recipes around the end of November, but somehow, I never get around to sharing everything I want to.
This year I’m getting into the holiday spirit. My mom and best friend visited here last month and we spent a lot of time talking about our favorite family holiday recipes. It was nice taking a walk down memory lane and recounting all the holiday parties my parents used to host.
I’ve hosted a holiday party or two and know how rushed things can get. When I little, I can remember helping my mom in the kitchen prepare for the holidays. We’d make cookie dough then form them into rolls and freeze them until right before the party. What I love about this dough is that it can be made ahead of time then prepared a day or two before the party. The dough is easy to make and doesn’t use any fancy ingredients.
If you asked me what my favorite treats are this time of year, it’s pumpkin cake, apple cobblers, butter pecan donuts, and anything cookie. I have a love for all things chocolate during the holidays and I usually make a lot of old-fashioned chocolate treats passed down from my grandparents and mom. These cookies were always the first thing eaten from the dessert table. Every year around this time, I can’t help but make myself a big batch of these to share with family!
Turtle Thumbprint Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (16 tablespoons), at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks (save egg whites for topping)
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract or emulsion
- 1 2/3 cup chopped pecans
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 jar caramel sauce (see notes for recipe)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt; set aside.In a bowl fit with a mixer, beat together sugar and butter on medium-high speed; about 3 minutes.Continue to beat and add egg yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla and almond extract.Turn mixer to low-medium and beat dry ingredients into wet ingredients a little at a time. Alternate with milk and finish on flour mixture. Beat until ingredients incorporated. Refrigerate tightly wrapped dough for at least 1 hour.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.Use a cookie scoop to scoop dough. Cut cookie dough scoop in half and roll each half into a ball. Roll dough into 1 inch balls.In a medium-tall dish, whisk egg whites. Coat each chocolate ball with egg white then roll in chopped pecans. Place on baking sheet.Using the underside of a teaspoon, carefully indent each round ball, pressing down until circle is formed. Bake in oven for 13 minutes. Cookies will still be soft until cooled. Allow to cool then remove from baking sheet and spoon in caramel sauce.
Nutritional information is only an estimate and it's accuracy is not guaranteed to be exact.
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These are one of my favorite cookies to make and eat. Each recipe has a little variation-some work some don’t. These cookies were easy to handle, rolled in walnuts when I ran out of pecans and caramels were easy because I bought Werther’s soft caramel–could not find any others in the store. Cookies were a nice treat for my friends.
Do you think you could place wrapped caramels in the middle of the cookies, midway through baking, instead of making the caramel sauce?
I have not tried it but you could try it with 1 cookie and see if it works. That way, you won’t waste anything. If it doesn’t work, you could place the caramel candies in a small saucepan with 1-2 tbsp milk and cook on medium heat and stir until melted. Then, add the melted caramel to the center of the cookies after baking.
I’ve made thumbprint cookies before, but not like these. They look amazing.
Since I do not eat eggs, I will be forwarding this recipe to my sister, she bakes cookies all the time, and I know she will really enjoy this one!
Ooh I just love cookies that can be prepared and the kept as a roll in the fridge until needed, these will be making it into our Holiday baking routine for sure!!
Mmm..these cookies are calling my name! I do believe I’m going to make them for an upcoming Holiday party. Thanks for sharing!
Wow…these look so good! What a sweet treat for this holiday season!
How wonderful is caramel at center ! I would finish all these in no time 🙂
I make these every year for Christmas! My husband’s favorite! Definitely hard not to eat them all as you make them!
I love caramel, these look AMAZING:) Definitely saving this, maybe my daughter will make them for me, double bonus;)
These would be terrible to make for a Christmas party. I would eat them all before the party even got started.
These look so delicious.. I love the idea of the caramel sauce right in between.. it will be such a delight to bite into one of these!
oh this Turtle Thumbprint Cookies looks so delicious… wish I had some right now!
These looked great and I am looking forward to baking them. Just curious, what is the secret ingredient?
Almond extract! haha 🙂 it really adds a unique flavor to the chocolate
I have made these several times and they are always a big hit..