#GiveAFriendACookie : Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Chocolate Turtle Cookies | bakeat350.net

It all started with Hurricane Harvey. You guys know I've worked with Imperial Sugar for years now. I've loved working with Imperial as their roots are in Texas. (Mine are technically in Oklahoma, but I was transplanted as a child. I love you Oklahoma, but I think I'm a Texan now.)

Harvey hit and we watched as neighbor helped neighbor, friend helped friend, stranger helped stranger. I absolutely LOVED this Facebook post from Imperial.

*this post is sponsored by Imperial Sugar

Chocolate Turtle Cookies | bakeat350.net

It wasn't over, though. Florida and Puerto Rico were devastated by hurricanes as well. Then, there was the earthquake in Mexico and the California wildfires...the heartbreaking tragedies in Las Vegas, New York, and again this week in a small town in Texas. It's hard to process...the sadness, the grief, the helplessness, the fear.

When we've donated money, food, blood, time...when we're feeling a little (a lot) at loose ends, there is something we can do. We can bake. We can bake to give comfort. We can bake to get to know our neighbors. We can bake to thank helpers and first responders.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies | bakeat350.net

Imperial Sugar and I gathered up this incredible group of bloggers and we encourage you to join us in #GiveAFriendACookie.

#GiveAFriendACookie is as simple as baking a batch of cookies and giving them to a friend, neighbor, acquaintance, or group...anyone you'd like to bake for. We can fill this world with more hope, joy, and comfort - one cookie at a time.

Bake up your cookies and share them on social media using the hashtag #GiveAFriendACookie so that we all can see. Not on social media? Just leave a comment on one of our blogs telling us about the person or people you baked for.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies | bakeat350.net

The cookies I'm giving are Chocolate Turtle Cookies. You know turtle candies with the caramel, chocolate, and pecans? These cookies were inspired by those candies.

It all starts off with toasted Texas pecans. (Yours don't have to be from Texas.)

Chocolate Turtle Cookies | bakeat350.net

Chocolate Turtle Cookies | bakeat350.net

You'll make a chocolate cookie dough. It has just a bit of espresso powder in it just to work with the vanilla to enhance the chocolate flavor.

Each cookie dough ball is halved and stuffed with a caramel and milk chocolate chips.

Seal up the filling really well, molding the dough around so no caramel is peeking out.

Top each cookie with a toasted pecan half and a pinch of sea salt. I used fleur de sel.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies | #GiveAFriendACookie

The chocolate, caramel, pecan, and salt are just a classic combination and sure to be a hit with any recipient.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies
{makes 20-24 cookies}

24 pecan halves
2 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup salted butter, cut into tablespoons
1/2 cup Imperial Sugar Extra-Fine Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 egg
24 soft caramel candies, unwrapped
milk chocolate chips
fleur de sel, or other sea salt

In a skillet, toast the pecans in a pan until fragrant. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, cocoa, and baking powder together. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together for several minutes. Stir the vanilla and espresso powder together. Add to the bowl along with the egg and beat until combined.

In three additions, add the flour mixture on low speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat until the dough comes together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.

Scoop the dough using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop. Divide each dough ball in half. Press a caramel onto the bottom half, squishing it a bit to make it fit inside the diameter of the dough. Top with 3-4 milk chocolate chips. Press the top of the dough ball on top of and around the bottom, encasing the caramel and chocolate.

Lightly press a toasted pecan on top and sprinkle with a small pinch of fleur de sel.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the cookies appear done. Let rest on the cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. For the gooiest centers, serve warm.

I'm giving this batch of cookies to the volunteers at our parish food pantry. The pantry operates year-round but with Hurricane Harvey, they supplied an unbelievable amount of food, diapers, cleaning supplies, etc. to those affected.

Please check out all of the cookie recipes and posts below from my cookie-making friends! 
And tell us when you #GiveAFriendACookie!

Snickerdoodles from The Nifty Foodie
Fall Flower Cookies from The Decorated Cookie
Peanut Butter Cookies from The Bearfoot Baker
Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from Baked Bree
Apple Pie Wedge Cookies from Munchkin Munchies
Peppermint Crunch Sugar Cookies from The Domestic Rebel
Pecan Chocolate Fudge Chunk Cookies from Country Cleaver
Everything Cookies from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
Chocolate Chip Cookies from LilaLoa
Lemon Cardamom Crinkle Cookies from Fifteen Spatulas
Apple Cinnamon Cookies from Dine and Dish
Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies with Sea Salt from A Farmgirl's Dabbles
Fall Wreath Sugar Cookie from Tikkido
Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookies from A Southern Fairytale
Chocolate Turtle Cookies from Bake at 350

For nearly 175 years, Imperial Sugar has been helping people communicate thanks, appreciation, love, and sympathy through home-baked treats. At the heart of baking for others is the very act of giving, and Imperial Sugar encourages everyone to bake and share, both in times of celebration and in times of crisis. Together we can make someone’s day just a little bit sweeter. If you are looking for cookie inspiration, visit the Imperial Sugar website for 350+ time-tested cookie recipes.

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