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Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

Decadently rich chocolate sugar cookies with a caramel filling and toasted pecans.  These cookies have a secret ingredient that truly elevates this cookie.  Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies are a favorite for the holiday season.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 45

Ingredients

  • 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

Topping

  • 1 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 jar caramel sauce (see notes for recipe)

Instructions

  • 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.