Turtle Thumbprint Cookies {Winner Announced}

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Erin about participating in a virtual cookie swap, and I was on board right away! We came up with a name, gathered some more bloggers, and quickly we had the 1st annual Blogging Buddies Virtual Cookie Exchange! If you don’t know Erin, she is the super sweet and talented blogger behind The Law Student’s Wife. She makes some really awesome stuff, so if you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting her gorgeous site,  go on over and have a look,  then come on back for some delicious cookies :) And don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous bloggers who are participating!

Now, let’s talk about these cookies shall we? Well, first of all I should rename them to Turtle Corkprint cookies. Instead of using my thumb to make the little caramel well, I decided to use a wine cork to have a more perfect and consistent well for all that caramel goodness! We start off with a dark chocolate cookie, rolled in chopped pecans, then filled with a sweet caramel, topped with a whole pecan, and then finished off with a drizzle of dark chocolate. The chocolate drizzle is optional, but I think that it does a nice job tying the whole cookie together. I’m going to be honest, these cookies require a slight bit more effort than your regular scoop and bake cookies, but the end result is well worth it! You will be rewarded with a delicious and beautiful cookie!


And now for the giveaway!!

So, because it’s almost Christmas, and I know all of you are doing a lot of baking, I want to give away one of my favourite kitchen items for baking cookies; a Silpat!  Not only is is great for  baking cookies, but a variety of other things like roasting veggies, chicken, etc. I even use it when I’m working with fondant and gum paste for cakes. It makes cleanup a breeze and it is always non-stick. In addition, I’m giving away an OXO cookie spatula which is perfect for lifting your cookies. OXO was one of the sponsors of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap that I blogged about earlier this week, and the proceeds from this limited edition spatula help to support Cookies for Kids Cancer. So it’s for a great cause! Enter below for your chance to win. Good Luck!


Don’t forget to check out all the other blogs participating in the  1st Annual Baking Buddies Virtual Cookie Exchange to see what delicious cookies they have whipped up!


One more little fun thing…my brother sent me this video yesterday. He and his girlfriend Danielle made this cute Christmas music video for friends of theirs. It literally made me laugh, but put a smile on my face the rest of the day! Enjoy!

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: about 30 to 32 cookies

A dark chocolate cookie covered in pecans, filled with caramel, topped with a pecan, and drizzled with dark chocolate. A cookie version of a holiday favourite!


    For the Cookies
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white, divided
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped
  • For the Caramel Filling
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 ounces (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 30 whole pecan pieces
  • For the Chocolate Drizzle (optional)
  • 2 ounces chopped chocolate, melted (I used 72% dark chocolate)


    For the Cookies
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, and beat in 1 whole egg, plus 1 egg yolk, the milk, and vanilla extract until well incorporated. Add in half the dry ingredients, and mix on low speed for about 15 seconds, add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix.
  3. Scrape the batter into a bowl (I used the one that had the flour in it), cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
  4. When ready to bake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  5. In a smallish bowl, whisk the 2 egg whites until frothy.
  6. For the pecans, you can either chop them very finely with a knife, or I used a food processor and pulsed them about 10 times until they were quite small. Be careful not to over pulse or they will release their oils. Place the finely chopped nuts in a small, shallow bowl.
  7. Roll the cookie dough into about 1 tablespoon balls using your hands. Dip and roll each dough ball into the egg whites, making sure to completely cover, then roll in the chopped pecan. Ensure that the entire ball is covered with pecan bits, then place on the cookie sheet, spaced about 1.5 inches apart.
  8. Using your thumb or something such as a wine bottle cork, make an indentation in the middle of the cookie and gently make the indentation a little wider to accommodate more caramel.
  9. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven and gently make that indentation more visible using your cork. Return the cookies from the oven and bake for an additional 4 minutes. Be careful not to over bake. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
  10. Note: I would make all the cookies first before making the filling.
  11. For the Caramel Filling
  12. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all the filling ingredients except for the pecans. Increase the heat to medium-high, and continue to heat the mixture until it comes to a boil, while stirring constantly. Continue to cook the mixture until it has thickened, and darkened, stirring constantly. Caution: Mixture will bubble and be very hot!
  13. Remove the pan from the heat, and strain the mixture into a bowl or measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer to remove and little brown bits from the caramel. Using a spoon, scoop some caramel into each cookie. Allow the caramel to set for about 45 minutes. Halfway through cooling, add a pecan piece to the caramel, and press it in just slightly. Once it has cooled, drizzle the tops of the cookie with some of the melted chocolate. I simply melted the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, then drizzled over the cookie with a spoon.
  14. Storage: These cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  15. Note: I really liked the way these cookies tasted from the fridge.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin



Entry: Leave me a comment telling me what your favourite cookie is.

 Update: This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, entry #210- Dianne Shaw ! Thank you to everyone who entered!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Fine Print:

  • This giveaway ends on Monday December 17th at Midnight ET. 
  • The winner will be announced on this post and also contacted within 48 hours of the contest ending via email.
  • The winner has 24 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.
  • Contest is open to persons with a Canadian or United States mailing address. 
  • Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Portuguese Girl Cooks. 


Good luck and enjoy!!


xo Jessica



Adapted from Baked Elements.

  • The Café Sucré Farine

    I missed the contest but wanted to tell you that these are the prettiest thumbprint cookies I’ve EVER seen, They look not only so pretty but also amazingly delicious!

  • Jean

    Love these thumbprint cookies and such pretty pictures!

  • Lisa

    I adore a great thumbprint cookie and yours is just that – stunning! I need to make this very soon!! Delish!!

  • Lora @cakeduchess

    I haven’t baked thumbprints yet this holiday season. Your turtle ones are on my mind and I have got to bake them next week:)Delicious:)

  • Silvia Rondelli

    Oh, these cookies looked so wow that I’ve been in a thumbprints mood for days. Until today I’ve finally decided -and found the time- to bake them. I didn’t really bake these cause, as a first attempt at thumbprints, it seemed a bit too brave but, even my supereasy adaptation… tastes awesome! Thanks for getting me inspired!


    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Glad I could inspire! I’m sure yours tasted awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/iheart.bubba Charlene Glover

    decorated sugar cookies

  • http://www.unegaminedanslacuisine.com/ Valerie

    Lemon sablés! {Love that video!}

  • Eligonma

    Chocolate Chip!!

  • Carol | a cup of mascarpone

    Absolutely love the cookies…they are gorgeous!!! Also, really enjoyed the video! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/MsCarolsueA Carolsue Anderson

    Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie
    Rafflecopter Name: Carolsue

  • Anastasia

    Chewy sugar cookies, no contest!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=762179932 Mara Yager

    I like the mint fudge oreos but if I am making them, I like sugar cookies from scratch!! Thanks the chance to win :) Happy Holidays!

  • Suzanne

    These are so pretty and I bet taste so good too! My favorite cookie is oatmeal. I love almost all cookies and rarely turn one down.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dianne.shaw.16 Dianne Shaw

    I love any cookie with chocolate in it!

  • Kristin

    I love thumbprint cookies with cream cheese icing!

  • Patty

    Gorgeous cookies! I love thin crispy spice cookies 😉

  • Amanda

    tricolor pinwheels or cream cheese daintees

  • http://tartineandapronstrings.com/ Jen Laceda

    Awesome giveaway! Would love to win! And the cookies and video? Super duper awesome (sorry about the dorkiness)!

  • http://www.theardentepicure.com/ Magic of Spice

    What an adorable video…so fun! And these cookies look incredible!

  • Bethany Fagan

    My mom just made Maple cookies for the first time – they’re fantastic!

  • Chrik

    Chocolate chip!

  • Tiffany

    Snickerdoodles & chocolate chip!

  • kaylas

    macarons are my favorite, but these look amazing. will have to try soon

  • Calli W

    Chocolate chip!

  • angela @ another bite please

    now this is my kind of thumbprint cookie!!

  • jacquie

    no favorite as no big holiday traditions in my family

  • Anj Shan

    My favorite cookie is the shortbread cookie

  • manda

    Ginger snaps

  • http://www.facebook.com/ummuadillah Aneesa Bint Lewis

    Classic chocolate chip!

  • Andrea Celesia

    Ricotta Lemon Cookies are my favorite!

  • hy_maintenance

    The cookies look good, but the video from your brother and sister in law is priceless! Love it!!

  • Tami

    Thumb prints! Love them with walnuts and homemade raspberry jam the best.

  • Jenny

    I make a toffee shortbread with dark chocolate chunks that I love!

  • Kerri

    I love pizzelles! Thanks for hosting!

  • http://twitter.com/Tutti_Dolci Tutti Dolci

    These thumbprints are absolutely stunning!

  • Jan

    Mo moms shortbread

  • http://twitter.com/BakerByNature Ashley

    These look awesome!!! I’m so glad I got to “meet” you through this cookie swap. You’re blog is lovely!!!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks so much Ashley!

  • Mimi

    Chocolate chip!

  • ProgressiveGrae

    My favorite cookies are Spekkulaas,

  • Laura

    My favorite cookie is a great classic ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie.

  • Amanda Thompson

    I love Snickerdoodles!

  • Priscilla

    My fave is chocolate chip!

  • Mary

    my favorite is Mexican wedding cakes! But I love all cookies!

  • Terri

    Peanut Butter Cup Cookies!

  • emily

    My favorite cookie is my Oreo cookie-cookies, full of chocolate chips and chopped oreos!

  • http://twitter.com/loveapothecary angel

    Cut Out Sugar Cookies !!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/erin.albertson1 Erin Albertson

    My favorite cookie is Peanut Butter blossoms!

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne (eats well with others)

    I generally don’t get that excited about thumbprints but these are a whole other story. I was actually paging through Baked: Elements this morning and stumbled across them…and now your post is a sign that I NEED them in my life.

  • Shonette

    I don’t know, might have a new favorite after making these, but until then- my favorite is white chocolate macadamia nut. :) Thank you~!

  • http://twitter.com/ricosinazucar Rico Sin Azúcar

    Wonderful cookies, Jessica! This caramel layer looks soooo delicious!

  • http://twitter.com/lindsaypell Lindsay A

    Anything mint and chocolate is my favorite.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.brickley.98 Cindy Brickley

    Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie.

  • abby

    sugar cookies are my favorite!

  • http://www.facebook.com/flowerfroggirl Christie McCann

    Um….sooooo many to chose from! I LOVE the pecan shortbread cookies I make from my great-grandmother’s recipe. Gingerbread are awesome! Peanut butter = crack. Oatmeal lace are to die for! Just too many to chose one!!

  • karen

    I love peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!

  • http://damndelicious.tumblr.com/ Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    As for the giveaway, my favorite cookie has to be a sugar cookie! I like my stuff plain and simple :)

  • http://damndelicious.tumblr.com/ Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    The video is just too cute! I need to get me one of those sweaters. And these cookies are phenomenal. I love that you used a wine cork – it’s genius!

  • http://www.averiecooks.com/ Averie Cooks

    Fave cookie – must be chewy, must be soft – anything with chocolate, white or dark, oatmeal, raisins, molasses, you name it, I am all about it :)

  • http://twitter.com/angiesrecipess Angie

    Gorgeous thumbprint cookies! They are addictive too.

  • Rachel

    I love snowball cookies! these thumbprint turtle cookies look amazing!

  • http://www.thelawstudentswife.com/ Erin@theLawStudentsWife

    Jess, your turtle thumbprint cookies are absolutely GORGEOUS, and thank you so much for your kind words and for highlighting my blog. I’m honored to be doing this exchange with you! It couldn’t have happened without you :-)