Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Cookie Time - Chocolate Turtle Cookies

It is a busy time of year but I decided I wanted to make some cookies.  My wife was invited to a neighborhood cookie exchange and she also had a cookie contest at work so I decided it would be the perfect opportunity.  

I saw this recipe on the web somewhere and then got my December issue of Cooks Country and it had the same recipe.  I needed 80 cookies for the exchange so I ended up making 9-10 dozen of these.  The recipe in Cooks Country did not have the pecan halves on top but I thought they added a nice touch.

I need a lesson in reading the recipe all the way through.  Where it says one egg separated plus one white I missed the separated part and threw the entire egg plus the whites into the cookie so my five batches of cookies had 10 egg whites in it that were not supposed to be there.  It was late at night and I didn't have the ingredients to make another five batches so I tested it out.  I am not really sure it affected the cookies much.  I think maybe they might have spread out a little more than they were supposed to but they tasted good and still looked nice.

I didn't win the contest - I blame the judging.  The cookie exchange had another cookie almost the same with chocolate in the center instead of the caramel - oh well.  They were still good and I had fun making them.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies
Makes 2 dozen

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon slat
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated, plus 1 egg white
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped fine
  • 14 soft caramel candies
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 24 pecan halves

  1. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in bowl.  With electric mixer on medium beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix until Incorporated.  Reduce to low speed and add flour mixture until just combined.  Refrigerate dough until firm, at least 1 hour.
  2. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk egg whites in bowl until frothy.  Place pecans in another bowl.  One at a time, roll dough into 1 inch ball, dip in egg whites, then roll in pecans.  Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared sheets.  Using teaspoon measure, make indentation in center of each ball.  Bake until set, 10 to 12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets half way through baking.
  4. Meanwhile, microwave caramels and cream in bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.  Once cookies are removed from oven, gently press existing indentations with teaspoon measure .  Fill each indentation with 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture.  Cool 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

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