Turtle Thumbprints - a soft-baked chocolate cookie rolled in nuts with a chewy caramel center and chocolate drizzled on top. This is sure to be your favorite Christmas cookie!

Turtle Thumbprints

Yield 20 cookies



  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 extra large egg, separated
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4-1 cup pecans, finely chopped


  • 3/4 cup caramel bits
  • 1 tsp water


  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Combine flour, cocoa & salt; set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add egg yolk, milk & vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
  3. Add flour mixture until just combined. *OPTIONAL: REFRIGERATE dough until firm, about 1 hour. (I did not do this, but my ingredients were pretty chilled & my bowl was cold.)
  4. Whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy. Place chopped pecans in another bowl. Scoop balls of dough & place on a plate or in another bowl.
  5. Roll prepared dough balls in frothy egg whites, then roll in chopped pecans. Place on parchment lined baking sheets.
  6. Using a ½ tsp measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.
  7. Bake at 350*F for 12 minutes or until set.
  8. Gently re-press the indentations as the cookies come out of the oven.
  9. Microwave caramel bits with water in a bowl on HALF POWER for about 1 minute & stir until smooth. (I like to do 30 seconds at a time to make sure it doesn't burn.) Scoop ½ teaspoonfuls into the indented cookies. Repeat with all cookies.
  10. Place chocolate in a bowl & microwave on HALF POWER for about 1 minute & stir until smooth. (I also like to do this 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between intervals.) Place chocolate in a plastic bag, cut the corner & squeeze back & forth to create a zigzag design over the caramel. Repeat with all cookies.
  11. *OPTIONAL: Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top of warm caramel or melted chocolate for an extra special treat.

Recipe Notes

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