Chocolate Chip Caramel and Pecan Turtle Cookie Bars

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Welcoming in the long weekend with these Chocolate Chip Caramel and Pecan Cookie Bars…aka Turtle Cookie Bars! Think your favorite chocolate chip cookies, but gooey, made into bars, and with the addition of soft caramel and pecans. Trust me, these cookie bars are SO good. Every bite is loaded with plenty of chocolate chips, gooey soft caramel, and with a slight nutty crunch from the pecans. It simply doesn’t get better than this! Baked in a sheet pan, just long enough so that each bar is just barely baked. Soft, decadent, and so delicious! It’s the perfect bake for today, tomorrow, this weekend…whenever!

turtle cookie bars on parchment paper with ice cream scoop full of pecans, caramel pieces and chocolate chips around, with small white flowers and wooden bowl of salt beside

About The Recipe

It’s officially our first cookie bar recipe on the blog and let me tell you, it’s a good one! My mom and I have been so excited to share this recipe ever since we came up with the idea. Like, is there anything better than giant cookies with extra chocolate chips, caramel, and pecans?

If I’ll be honest, this is hands down one of my mom and I’s favorite flavors! It’s nutty, sweet, and extra chocolate-y. Especially when you toss it into a gooey chocolate chip cookie! But, we wanted to do something a little different than just your standard drop cookie.

With summer right around the corner, we knew we wanted to make something special.

Cookie bars are something we love to bake, but haven’t ever actually gotten around to posting. There’s just something so beautiful in their simplicity. No having to scoop dough, roll it, press it down. Just chunk the dough into a sheet pan and bake! It’s THAT simple.

Though, it wasn’t all that smooth sailing when testing this recipe. The cookies turn out great…but we forgot we were working with soft caramel. We unwrapped them, chopped it all and placed the pieces into a bowl. That was a big mistake! When we went to stir it into the cookie dough, our chopped caramel had just turned into a giant piece of caramel in the shape of our bowl!

close up of cookie bars on parchment paper with flaked salt and white flowers on top

We did get a good laugh about it, but we had to roll it out, re-cut it, and make sure we kept every piece AWAY from the other pieces. Phew. It was so much work, so be sure to learn from our mistakes! Keep the cut pieces of caramel on their little wrappers.

Other than that, these cookies actually turned out like a dream. They’re SO freaking good. Like, melt in your mouth delicious and oh so rich.

And the best part? These cookies are a serious crowd pleaser and an easy make for any and every occasion!

What are Turtle Cookies?

It does sound a little weird, but don’t worry! Turtle is actually a chocolate candy made with pecans, caramel, and…well, chocolate! The design was similar in shape to a turtle, which is how the candy got its name. Our cookies take the classic flavors from the candy and made them even better!

Reasons You Will Love These Cookie Bars

  • Very simple to make.
  • Uses soft caramel so that when its baked, it never becomes firm and stays soft and gooey.
  • Ready in less than an hour!
  • Can be cut into shapes, squares, or rectangles.
  • A wonderful cookie to make all year long!
twelve cookie bars on a crumbled piece of parchment paper with ice cream scoop full of pecans, caramel pieces and chocolate chips around, with small white flowers and wooden bowl of salt beside

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Large Eggs
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Soft Caramel
granulated sugar, salt, vanilla, chopped pecans, brown sugar, flour, two eggs, two sticks of butter, chocolate chips, caramel pieces, and baking powder on marble surface

How To Make Turtle Cookie Bars

Step 1: Make the dough

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in flour mixture.

Mix in the chocolate chips and pecans.

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and clean off the beater. Place a few chopped pieces of caramel at a time into the dough, folding them in with a rubber spatula. Repeat until no more caramel remains and the caramel pieces are evenly spread throughout the dough.

Step 2: Bake

Spoon the cookie dough into parchment lined pan and press evenly across the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 28 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan before lifting out. Cut into 12 bars. Serve immediately!

Turtle Cookie Bars FAQ’s

Can I Make This Recipe Into Drop Cookies?

While you can, keep in mind that this recipe would make a LOT of cookies! Also, the bake time will change if you do not make these as bar cookies.

What’s The Best Caramel To Use?

For this recipe, we recommend using a soft caramel! It stays soft and gooey even after cooling.

How Will I Know When It’s Baked?

The best way to tell is if the top of the cookie is firm to the touch in the middle. You can also see if it’s pulling away from the edges! Another good way to test is by using a cake tester or toothpick. Though, this way can be hard sometimes, as you may hit a piece of caramel or chocolate.

three stacked turtle cookie bars with caramel dripping form the top bar with empty glass behind

What To Serve With These Cookie Bars

Substitutions

  • While we highly recommend using a bittersweet or a dark chocolate for this recipe to help cut down on some of the sweetness, you can use milk chocolate if you don’t like the flavor or dark chocolate.
  • Walnuts, peanuts, or even cashews can be used instead of the pecans!
  • Homemade soft caramel can be used in place of store-bought.
cookie bar turned on it's side with caramel dripping off, more cookie bars around on crumbled parchment paper

Expert Tips

  • Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature!
  • Be careful to not over mix the cookie dough.
  • With the caramel, do NOT place the chopped caramel into a bowl. The best way to do this is to unwrap each caramel, cut it in half on the wrapper, and set it aside. Since it’s soft caramel, it WILL stick to itself.
  • 4 ½ ounces is about 1 cup of caramel. To measure, take wrapped caramels and place them in your measuring cup.
  • Let the cookies mostly cool in the pan before lifting out. Do NOT try to lift them out while it’s still hot. It will fall apart.
  • You can cut the cookies into any shape you would like!

When you make these Chocolate Chip Caramel and Pecan Turtle Cookie Bars, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

turtle cookie bars on parchment paper with ice cream scoop full of pecans, caramel pieces and chocolate chips around, with small white flowers and wooden bowl of salt beside

Chocolate Chip Caramel and Pecan Turtle Cookie Bars

Traci
Rich, sweet, gooey, and SO delicious! These Chocolate Chip Caramel and Pecan Turtle Cookie Bars are the perfect cookie to bake all year long. Truly a crowd pleaser!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 28 mins
Total Time 53 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 519 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 ¾ cups chopped pecans
  • 4 ½ ounces soft caramel, chopped

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375° F.
  • Line an 8"x12" pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Stir in flour mixture.
  • Mix in chocolate chips and pecans.
  • Remove bowl from mixer.
  • A few pieces at a time, fold in caramel.
  • Spoon dough into prepared pan.
  • Press evenly in across bottom of pan.
  • Bake for 28 minutes, or until done but still soft in the middle.
  • Allow to cool in pan.
  • Remove from pan and cut into 12 bars.

Notes

Substitutions:
  • While we highly recommend using a bittersweet or a dark chocolate for this recipe to help cut down on some of the sweetness, you can use milk chocolate if you don’t like the flavor or dark chocolate.
  • Walnuts, peanuts, or even cashews can be used instead of the pecans!
  • Homemade soft caramel can be used in place of store-bought.
 
Expert Tips:
  • Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature!
  • Be careful to not over mix the cookie dough.
  • With the caramel, do NOT place the chopped caramel into a bowl. The best way to do this is to unwrap each caramel, cut it in half on the wrapper, and set it aside. Since it’s soft caramel, it WILL stick to itself.
  • 4 ½ ounces was about 1 cup of caramel. To measure, take wrapped caramels and place them in your measuring cup.
  • Let the cookies mostly cool in the pan before lifting out. Do NOT try to lift them out while it’s still hot. It will fall apart.
  • You can cut the cookies into any shape you would like!

Nutrition

Serving: 1barCalories: 519kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 5gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 290mgPotassium: 128mgFiber: 2gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 527IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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2 Comments

  1. May I just ask why you use an 8x 12 pan. I’m an experienced baker with many different pans, but this is not one of them. Typical baking pans are either 7 x11 or 9x 13.

    1. Hi! Honestly, based on the amount of dough we had it, it was the first pan we saw and grabbed, haha! We have lots of pans and always try to vary the sizes we bake with. You can definitely use a 7×11″ pan to make these cookie bars, but baking times may need to be adjusted slightly! You can also use the link in the recipe card to purchase the same 8×12″ pan we used. We highly recommend them!! Hope this helps and that you have a great day! Please let us know if you have anymore questions. 🥰 x, Caylie