These turtle thumbprint cookies complete with a gooey caramel center and pecan coating. Try not to eat five?

Have you ever accidentally eaten like 12 cookies? You know, you eat like half of one…then you go back for the other half. Then you do that like 11 more times… don’t judge me; these cookies are teensy tiny. And once you’ve made these turtle thumbprint cookies you’ll see how easy it is to inhale these bite sized, chocolate cookies filled with caramel.

I have zero regrets about eating 12. I’d do it again quite frankly.

overhead shot of chocolate turtle thumbprints

What are Turtle Thumbprint Cookies?

You’ve probably had a classic thumbprint cookie around Christmas time at at least some point in your life.  Thumbprints are traditionally a buttery, shortbread cookie filled with jam or chocolate. They get their name because the filling is placed into a thumbprint sized indentation in each cookie.

And thumbprint cookies are…okay. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not terrible, but they’re definitely not my first choice at the cookie table.

turtle thumbprint cookies on a wire rack with a glass of milk

I don’t know about you guys, but during the holiday season I’m looking for knock your socks off good cookies. Not crumbly, dry cookies filled with jam.

Give this girl some chocolate.

These turtle thumbprint cookies complete with a gooey caramel center and pecan coating. Try not to eat five?

We took the classic formula for a thumbprint with one of our favorite Christmas flavors to make these turtle thumbprint cookies. The cookie part is made from our favorite chocolate cookies (they taste like BROWNIES), rolled in toasted and finely chopped pecans. Fill them up with soft caramel and you’ve got yourself a bite sized thumbprint that tastes pretty much like a caramel turtle brownie.

So like rulllllly güd.

These turtle thumbprint cookies complete with a gooey caramel center and pecan coating. Try not to eat five?

How to store turtle thumbprint cookies.

We’ve gotten a lot of questions this cookie week on how to make all these Christmas cookies ahead of time, and we hear you. Holiday baking can get seriously overwhelming, so it’s a great idea to get ahead where you can.

These turtle thumbprints travel very well and are easily made in advance. They’ll keep on the counter in a cookie tin for about a week or you can freeze them for up to a month. They’re also a pretty sturdy cookie that travels well, so they’re perfect for sharing or mailing to loved ones!

turtle thumbrints on a wire rack with bowl of chopped pecans

We won’t tell anyone if you don’t share annnnny of these turtle thumbprints.



Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

These turtle thumbprint cookies complete with a gooey caramel center and pecan coating. Try not to eat five?

These turtle thumbprint cookies complete with a gooey caramel center and chopped pecans AKA the perfect Christmas cookie this season!

  • Author: Sofi | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 36 cookies 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: american


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 12 soft caramels, unwrapped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl stir together the salt, cocoa powder, flour, and baking soda. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Using a teaspoon scoop out rounded teaspoons of dough and roll into balls. Roll the cookie dough balls in the toasted and finely chopped pecans until fully coated. Place balls an inch apart on the prepared  cookie sheet. Press your finger into each ball, making a hole in the middle. Bake for 9 minutes or until set on the edges. If the thumbprint has disappeared while baking, repress the cookies after they come out of the oven. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  5. While the cookies are cooling, unwrap the caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring periodically to make sure they don’t burn, until the caramels are fully melted. Transfer the melted caramel to a pipping bag.
  6. Pipe a dollop of caramel into each thumbprint, allow to cool and eat!

easy caramel filled turtle thumbprints perfect for christmas




You didn’t mention the strips of thin chocolate over each cookie . Do you do that with melted chocolate chips in a pipping bag? Also, how do you successful chop pecans that fine? When I use a knife by slowly rocking the knife back and forth over the pecans, they splinter all over the place. Help.


I so so so wanted to love this recipe but it turned out to be a caramel rock and a cookie around. Are the cookies beautiful yes! So they sound delicious, in theory yes! The cookie itself was aiight, more like a brownie ish thing with a crispy nut coating. What I could not believe was that the caramels were rock hard after a few hours of cooking. You could not bite into the caramel centre. I wanted to put it in my cookie boxes for my friends and neighbours and I could not!

Beautiful, picturesque cookies, flawed recipe.

FYI: I bake enough and follow instructions so while it could be my mistake I don’t think so.


edit: few hours of cooling * ( sorry autocorrect) Otherwise I blame the caramels – but I got those individually wrapped ones from the store that are always there!

Sofi | Broma Bakery

Ahh so sorry just saw this other comment! It sounds like it was caramels to me unfortunately 🙁

I just edited the recipe to clarify.

Sofi | Broma Bakery

Hey Kara! I’m so sorry to hear that these cookies didn’t turn out well for you. What kind of caramels did you use? Did you mean cooling? The caramels shouldn’t be cooked at all–only microwaved to soften them! It sounds like you it was maybe just the caramels you used! We used Trader Joe’s soft caramels.

Again, really sorry to hear that!

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