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Tis the season to be thankful…and this year, I’m thankful for all the new and wonderful baking products I’m seeing in the store aisles this year!

You may not be as dorky as me to realize that adding caramel to a cookie recipe can be a pain in the rear.  Well, here’s the deal:  you have to unwrap each one (which isn’t so bad) but then you have to figure out a way to cut them up into manageable pieces for your recipe.  Ugh.  There are Rolo candies…but if you don’t want chocolate in your recipe, they don’t help much.  You could also buy some soft specialty caramels from a local candy store and cut those up into little pieces…but I’m guessing that might also cost a pretty penny.  Well, imagine my excitement when I saw these Kraft caramel bits at my local Walmart!!

As you can see from the photo above, they also carry the elusive pumpkin spice pudding mix that up until now, I’ve only seen available on Amazon.  I mean, not for nothing, but Walmart’s selection of holiday baking supplies are AMAZING!  (Sidenote:  I also grabbed a bag of Andes Candy Cane Crunch bits…expect to see those put to use in the coming weeks).

So, what was I going to do with all this fun stuff?  Well, my office had their annual Thanksgiving potluck this week and I created this recipe using the caramel bits, the pudding mix and some white chocolate chips and pecans I had in the pantry.  The result:  an ooey gooey, perfectly-spiced pumpkin white turtle cookie.

Say no more.  Here’s the recipe…get yourself to a Walmart and buy these ingredients or place a rush order with Amazon so you can make these heavenly treats (and no, I don’t work for either of these organizations – just helping you folks locate the treasure, that’s all!).  They were a hit at my office and would make a great addition to any Thanksgiving gathering.

Pumpkin White Turtle Cookies

  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 (3oz.) package instant pumpkin spice pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips
  • 1 c. Kraft caramel bits
  • 1 c. chopped pecans, salted and toasted

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spray a small baking pan with Pam.  Place 1 c. pecans in the pan and sprinkle with salt (preferably sea salt or Kosher salt if you have it).  Toast in the oven for 5 minutes or until fragrant.

Combine the flour and baking soda and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.  Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture.

Stir in the white chocolate chips, caramel bits, and pecans.

Using rounded spoonfuls, place the dough balls onto cookie sheets that are lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner.  This is important as the melted caramel will make the cookies stick to the pan without the liner.

Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are golden brown.  They may still look a little under-done.  That’s okay, they’ll keep cooking on the tray as they cool.  Once they are comfortable to touch, transfer to a cooling rack.

*Note:  I found the caramel bits and pumpkin spice pudding mix at Walmart – you can also order these items from Amazon.  If you can’t find the pudding mix, you could use vanilla pudding mix instead and add 2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice to the dough to try and replicate the flavor.