I hope the holiday season is treating everyone well! I made these white turtle cookies for the Thanksgiving potluck we had at work a few weeks ago. Um, yeah. I know, it’s been a few weeks and I’ve been a real slacker with the posts lately. Other than this batch, I haven’t been doing a lot of baking lately. We had a really small Thanksgiving this year – so no need to go crazy with the cooking. I was also training for and finished my second half marathon on Thanksgiving morning (woohoo!!). Combine that with work, a toddler, and life in general and my mixer has been on a short hiatus.
Now, we’re knee-deep in cookie season! My favorite time of year, naturally. So, get ready to see a little bit more of me over the next few weeks. I plan on giving that lazy mixer of mine a workout.
Back to the white turtle cookies…the stars of the show here are: roasted and salted pecans, caramel bits and white chocolate chips. Rather than go with the traditional turtle flavor of chocolate, I decided to use vanilla as the base flavor in the batter.
Don’t be intimidated by roasting pecans. I simply put mine on a tray, spritzed them with some cooking spray and liberally sprinkled some sea salt on top. Give them a good mix and then place the pan in a preheated 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes until they look a little toasty and are really fragrant. The only tricky part is keeping an eye on the nuts to make sure they don’t burn…because they will burn quickly. You can also roast the pecans on the stovetop in a skillet. Your choice.
Next up are the caramel bits. I used these little guys – they are great! Nothing to unwrap or chop. I found mine at Walmart but I’ve seen them at Target and Publix as well (not to mention, you can find almost anything on Amazon).
If you can’t find these, you can buy regular wrapped caramels. Just unwrap them and cut into small chunks. The other ingredients are pretty simple: instant vanilla pudding mix and white chocolate chips.
With the caramel and roasted nuts, I thought this was a great recipe for Thanksgiving. But I think these fall flavors still work nicely into December. I also like that these are a bit different than what you might typically find at a cookie exchange.
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 vanilla pudding mix
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. Kraft caramel bits (or chopped caramel)
- 1 c. roasted, salted pecans, chopped
- 1 c. white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place your pecans into a shallow baking dish and spritz with cooking spray. Sprinkle a liberal amount of sea salt on the nuts and mix well. Bake for 5-10 minutes until the nuts are toasty (watch them carefully so they don’t burn!). Set aside until cool and chop if desired.
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 pecans, white chocolate chips, and caramel bits.
Using rounded spoonfuls, place the dough balls onto cookie sheets that are lined with parchment paper or a silpat 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.