One of my favorite things to do is to take the flavors or components of a dessert and make a cookie version of it, and here's my interpretation of a turtle candy. It's a buttery thumbprint cookie filled with caramel and pecans and drizzled with melted chocolate.
Note this makes a LOT of cookies, at least 4 dozen, so you may want to cut the recipe in half for a smaller batch.
CHOCOLATE CARAMEL TURTLE COOKIES
For cookie dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (14oz) bag of individual caramel candies, unwrapped
2 tablespoons water
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons Crisco shortening
1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with a handheld mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Form dough into a flat disc, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in fridge until firm, at least 4 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. In a medium saucepan combine caramel candies and water over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until caramel is melted and mixture is smooth. Reduce heat to low.
4. To prepare cookies - take heaping teaspoons of chilled cookie dough and form loosely into balls. Place on baking sheet 2 inches apart. Return remaining dough to fridge to stay chilled until ready for the next batch. Using a small spoon or your fingertip, make an indentation in the middle of each cookie and spoon 1 teaspoon of caramel sauce into each indentation. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
5. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on sheets 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
6. In a small bowl combine chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave for 15-30 seconds, stopping to stir once halfway thru. Drizzle chocolate across surface of cookies and allow to cool until chocolate is set.