Turtle Shortbread Cookie Recipe

The turtle shortbread cookie recipe is a kicked-up version of an old holiday favorite! Throw in little chocolate, caramel, and some pecans and you have a cookie that looks as good as it tastes!

Ingredients

3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) salted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping:

24 caramel candies, unwrapped

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

2 teaspoons shortening

1 cup chopped pecans

72 pecan halves

Hardware

Large bowl

Small microwave safe bowl

1-quart saucepan

Cookie sheets

Waxed paper

Mixer

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium high speed cream together the butter and almond extract.

Step 3: Stir in flour and salt. If dough is crumbly mix in an additional 1-2 tablespoons of softened butter.

Step 4: Place dough in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Step 5: Divide dough into 12 equal parts. Roll each part into a 1/4-inch-thick circle. Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Place wedges 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Step 6: Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set. Immediately transfer cookies to a cooling surface for 30 minutes.

Topping:

Step 1: In a 1-quart saucepan, heat caramels over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until melted. Keep caramels warm on low heat.

Step 2: In a small microwave safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on high 1-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until melted and thin enough to drizzle.

Step 3: Dip 2 straight edges of each cookie into melted caramel, then into chopped pecans. Place cookies on waxed paper.

Step 4: On top of each cookie place a dot of chocolate in the center; place a pecan half on top of chocolate. Using the tines of a fork, drizzle the remaining chocolate over the top of each cookie.

The turtle shortbread cookie recipe makes 72 wedges.

For more information on baking procedures and hardware used in this recipe see our Baking Tips section.

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Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe – How Each Ingredient Works

You will often hear, “My chocolate chip cookies did not turn out.” Inevitably it is then quickly blamed on the recipe used, and then the quest for a new recipe ensues. The odds are that the recipe used was just fine, but how the cookie ingredients were measured and mixed probably had more to do with the poor outcome.

There are so many recipes to choose from, it can be confusing. Each recipe will produce a similar tasting product, but depending on how the ingredients were used, each recipe will produce a cookie with its own set of textural characteristics and traits.

  • Butter: This is the fat that makes a cookie rich and palatable. Unsalted butter is the best to use as you can better control the salt amount in your recipe.
  • White and brown sugar: These sugars sweeten the cookie while also adding textural qualities. More brown sugar will make a soft chewy cookie while large amounts of white sugar will make a drier crispy cookie.
  • Eggs: Eggs are emulsifiers. This means that they help keep fats evenly distributed throughout the cookie making it thick and stable.
  • Extracts: Flavoring that give pastries a subtle underlying flavor. The most common extracts for a chocolate chip cookie are vanilla and almond.
  • All-Purpose flour: This is the most common flour found in the household kitchen, and the most recommended for baking cookies. The more flour used, the more dense the cookie. Self rising flour is not recommended.
  • Leavening agents: Baking powder and baking soda are the two most common gas producing agents that are used to make the cookie rise in the oven. Soda will produce a cookie that spreads more, as a double acting baking powder will make a fluffier cookie.
  • Salt: Salt actually enhances the sweetness and all the other flavors in the cookie. Sea salt is the best because it is a pure fine salt without additives.
  • Chocolate Chips: Semi-sweet chocolate chunks were in the first ever chocolate chip cookie, however, any flavor can be put into this classic cookie recipe.
  • Nuts: Nuts are optional in any cookie recipe, but add a crunchy texture and added layer of flavor. Walnuts and pecans are the most classic choice.

No matter which way you like your chocolate chip cookie, this is the most common set of ingredients that go into a basic recipe. Since the first cookie was made in 1933 there have been many alterations to the original recipe, but few recipes stray far from the tried and true classic list of ingredients.

Easy Sugar Cookie Recipes: From Delicious Drop Cookies To Fun, Tasty Cut-Outs

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, there are a lot of easy sugar cookie recipes to choose from. But sugar cookies come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. They can be as simple as drop cookies, a spoonful of dough dropped onto a cookie sheet, or as elaborate as carefully cut-out cookies decorated with pretty, colorful icing.

So which one of those easy sugar cookie recipes should you pick? Which one will give you the best results for the type of sugar cookie you’re trying to make?

The truth is, most easy sugar cookie recipes use the same basic list of ingredients, with maybe an added spice here or there. What it really comes down to are the quantities of each ingredients, and how you treat the dough.

Each ingredient in a sugar cookie has a specific role, and tweaking its quantity will give you a slightly different cookie. So what goes in a sugar cookie?

  • Flour. Flour gives the cookie its structure. When you mix flour in liquids, it forms tough strands of gluten. The more you mix it, and the more flour you add, the tougher a cookie you get.
  • Butter. Butter doesn’t just add flavor. It also helps the cookie stay more tender by preventing too much gluten from forming. It also lets the cookie spread out more.
  • Sugar. Sugar helps the cookies be more fluffy by trapping air inside the butter when you cream it. Also, if you don’t cream it enough, the undissolved sugar will make the cookie spread out more.
  • Eggs. The yolks help make a more tender cookie, and the whites help give it structure. They also add some moisture.
  • Baking powder. Baking powder helps the cookie rise.
  • Baking soda. Baking soda makes the cookies brown faster, and makes the cookie more tender.
  • Vanilla. Vanilla is just there for flavor, but it really does make all the difference.
  • Salt. Like vanilla, the salt is just there for flavor, although it can toughen the cookie, too.

But it’s not just the ingredients that matter in easy sugar cookie recipes. How you handle the dough will affect what kind of cookie you get.

  • The longer you cream the butter and sugar, the fluffier a cookie you’ll get. It also won’t spread as much, perfect to help cut out cookies keep their shape.
  • The longer you mix the flour with the wet ingredients, the tougher a cookie you’ll get. If you’re looking for something fluffy, avoid over-mixing.
  • If you want to roll out the dough, you’ll need to refrigerate it until it’s firm enough to work with.
  • You can also refrigerate the raw cookies once they’re shaped. It helps them keep their shape in the oven.

When you’re baking, it’s always a good idea to start with a recipe. But once you have a decent recipe, you can tweak it to suit your tastes and purposes, and make your own easy sugar cookie recipes.