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Turtle Bars

Turtle Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (about 5 1/2 ounces)

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, 1 cup brown sugar, and 3/4 cup butter in processor until well blended and crumbly. Press mixture evenly into ungreased 9x13x2-inch metal baking dish. Bake until crust is light golden, about 15 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

  • Meanwhile, bring remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter, and cream to boil in small saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove caramel from heat.

  • Sprinkle pecans over crust. Pour caramel over pecans. Bake until bubbles form and color darkens, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand until chocolate melts, about 5 minutes. Using offset spatula, spread chocolate evenly over top. Chill bars until chocolate sets, about 20 minutes. Cut into 1-inch squares.

Recipe by Janet McCracken,Reviews Section

Turtle Bars

Prepare Basic Cookie Dough. Press it evenly into the bottom of a pan with a spatula, pressing down at the edges so dough doesn't form a rim after baking. Freeze dough for 15 minutes. Prick holes all over to keep it flat during baking. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Make ganache by placing bittersweet chocolate and milk in a small heatproof bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute, stirring every 10 seconds until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Scrape the ganache onto the baked cookie square and spread it almost to the edge. Sprinkle pecans evenly over the top and set aside.

To make caramel, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring mixture gently, just until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring completely and allow it to boil until it turns a golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in warmed whipping cream (it will bubble up). Stir gently until the mixture is smooth. (If lumpy, return it to low heat while stirring.) Cool 1 minute and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Let caramel cool for 2 minutes before drizzling over the pecan layer with a spoon. Refrigerate pan for at least 1 hour to set the ganache and caramel before cutting into bars. Store 3 days at room temperature, 1 week in the refrigerator.


Graham Cracker Crust

Cheesecake crust recipes can be made from graham crackers, any cookies, animal crackers, etc. There are cheesecakes with brownie crusts , too, but we’re going to stick to the basic cheesecake crust recipe using graham crackers. You can buy graham cracker crumbs or simply smash a bunch of graham crackers to make the crust.

To make the crust, combine the graham crackers and the butter in a small bowl. Use a fork to mix the two ingredients, making sure that every single graham cracker crumb is coated in butter. The butter binds everything together so bits of the crust don’t pop up in the cheesecake.

Press the crust into a 9吉-inch baking dish that has been lined with parchment paper. Use your hand to flatten the crust then, use the bottom of a glass to press it down flatter. Set aside as you make the filling.


Related Video

Update: These bars leaked the delicious caramel after slicing. The problem might be using dark brown sugar rather than light: the greater molasses content may affect the finished product. Also, I didn't refrigerate them. Still good, but messy.

Toasted walnuts, addictive caramel, a hint of chocolate in the base: these are delightful and easy to eat. OK with regular corn syrup. The base is liquid but it baked up fine--no typo there, and there's no need to chop nuts. I wouldn't drizzle chocolate on top, though they feature nuts and caramel more than chocolate. Maida Heatter has a very similar recipe called Walnut Dreams, I think, which is a more suitable name.

The best part of the recipe is the caramel mixture. I'm going to keep it but I wasn't too thrilled about the chocolate. Iɽ suggest seeking a better recipe for the base. Oh and Iɽ chop the walnuts.

I haven't made this yet but I think there is a typo. I read reviews that said there is too little crust. I'm sure it is supposed to read 1 1/4 cups of flour and not 1/4 cup.

First thing - Jana from St. Louis reviewed the turtle bars from this site but from Bon Apetite Mag, not Gourmet! Second, these bars are really delicious. My only criticism is the size pan recommended. My brownie crust was almost paper thin so I quickly redid that part in an 8x8-inch pan and was glad that I did because the caramel cools quickly and I never would have been able to spread it over the entire pan. To make a long story short, definitely go with a smaller pan. About 1/2 cup less nuts also. I also used pecans.

I first made this recipe in 1991 and took it to a pot luck at my college. It is fun to make,really delicious,and it makes a great impresion if you are a Grad student, I think it helped me get my graduate degree!

I would make this again but instead of spreading semisweet chocolate on top, drizzle milk chocolate so you can taste carmel. Also, less butter is okay for the crust.

these were delicious but lacking in the cookie department, I think next time I will double the base butleave the topping alone as it was perfect.

Made it with pecans. This stuff is dangerous!

Love this recipe! I used whole toasted pecans instead of walnuts. Be sure to let the wax paper overlap the sides of the pan to help getting the bars out. Also, this is very easy to double. Since you are going to all that work already, might as well get 2 pans of the treats!

I didn't think this was totally awesome like most of the other reviewers. There's better bars out there.


Gooey Turtle Bars

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Gooey is right! Chocolate, caramel, and pecans make up the decadent topping that covers a rich, buttery crust. And just one bite of these sensational bars will have you saying 'OOH IT'S SO GOOD!!'

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (12-ounce) box vanilla wafer cookies, finely crushed
  • 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar caramel topping or 1 (12.25-ounce) jar fat-free caramel topping
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

What to Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a 9- x 13-inch baking dish, combine butter and wafer crumbs press into baking dish. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, drizzle with caramel topping, and sprinkle with pecans.
  3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until chips have melted cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Chill at least 2 hours cut into bars.

Notes

Want to find even more fantastic cookie recipes like this one? Check out our free eCookbook, Cookie Jar Favorites: 35 of Our Best Cookie Recipes.

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Ratings & Comments

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Turtle candies are always one of my favorites, especially at Christmastime. This is a great and easy to make recipe and the bars are delicious. I use walnuts in place of the pecans, because I've always associated walnuts with turtle candies ever since childhood. These would also be good with peanuts, and I've also used dark chocolate chips quite successfully with this. One addition I've made from time to time is to sprinkle coconut on top of the finished bars.

Will be devouring this one. Watch out sugar read!

I made these for a girls night out and they were a big hit! Everyone wanted the recipe. Positively OOOH it's so good!

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Turtle Bars

These Turtle Bars start with a chocolate shortbread crust, a decadent layer of caramel and semi sweet chocolate lightly swirled on top and finished off with chopped pecans and a light sprinkling of sea salt. They’re amazing!

You guys, these Turtle Bars.😍

I think it’s safe to say these might just be the best bar cookie I have ever eaten. Coming from someone who has eaten a lot of bar cookies in her lifetime, that is a pretty bold statement.

I knew these bars were going to be good, but you guys, they are so much more than just good. They’re phenomenal! I had to give them away to neighbors because I had no self-control.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THESE TURTLE BARS . . .

These bars start with a chocolate shortbread crust that is so fabulous (Yes, I’m already thinking about what else I can make using this crust.) The next layer starts with a delicious can of dulce de leche, butter, heavy cream, brown sugar and corn syrup all mixed together and then cooked to a softball stage. Toasted pecans are added to this heavenly caramel mixture and then it’s poured over the cooked crust. Chocolate chips are scattered on top and then swirled into the caramel layer. A few more toasted pecans are tossed on top with a little sea salt.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE TURTLE BARS:

This list ingredients it pretty basic and you probably have everything already in your panty, with maybe the exception of the pecans and can of dulce de leche.

  • Dulce de leche
  • Heavy cream
  • Corn syrup
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Chopped pecans
  • Semisweet chocolate chips
  • Sea salt

HOW DO I TOAST THE PECANS?

You can toast the pecans in a skillet on the stovetop or in the oven. I prefer doing it on the stovetop rather than in the oven. It’s faster and easier to keep an eye on the nuts to make sure they don’t burn. STOVETOP: place the nuts in a dry skillet in an even layer. Cook over medium heat shaking the skillet from time to time and also stirring with a wooden spoon until nuts are golden brown and aromatic. OVEN: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Arrange the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

CAN I LEAVE THE NUTS OUT?

Yes you can omit the nuts if you’re not a fan or if you have a nut allergy. Keep in mind though, these bars will no longer technically be “turtle bars”, but more like “caramel bars.” I’ve mentioned many times that I am not a fan of nuts in most baked goods, but I think the toasted pecans in these bars are a must!

Just look at all that caramel and chocolate swirled together. My mouth is watering just looking at these pictures. I wish I had some of these left because they would be my lunch today. . . probably a good thing they’re gone.


  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 chocolate bar biscuit croissant topping
  • 1 jelly cotton candy
  • ½ jelly gummies
  • 2 cups liquorice chocolate
  • 2 jelly beans bonbon
  • 2 caramels tart gummi bears
  • 6 butterscotch caramel lollipops
  • 12 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup sugar

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Turtle Bars

Prepare Basic Cookie Dough. Press it evenly into the bottom of a pan with a spatula, pressing down at the edges so dough doesn't form a rim after baking. Freeze dough for 15 minutes. Prick holes all over to keep it flat during baking. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Make ganache by placing bittersweet chocolate and milk in a small heatproof bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute, stirring every 10 seconds until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Scrape the ganache onto the baked cookie square and spread it almost to the edge. Sprinkle pecans evenly over the top and set aside.

To make caramel, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring mixture gently, just until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring completely and allow it to boil until it turns a golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in warmed whipping cream (it will bubble up). Stir gently until the mixture is smooth. (If lumpy, return it to low heat while stirring.) Cool 1 minute and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Let caramel cool for 2 minutes before drizzling over the pecan layer with a spoon. Refrigerate pan for at least 1 hour to set the ganache and caramel before cutting into bars. Store 3 days at room temperature, 1 week in the refrigerator.


Recipe Summary

  • cooking spray
  • ⅔ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Beat white sugar, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and pinch of salt together in a bowl until smooth add flour and stir until dough forms. Press dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven until edges are lightly brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool crust completely.

Whisk brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, remaining vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a bowl add pecans and stir to combine. Pour brown sugar mixture over cooled crust.

Bake in the oven until golden brown and filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature cut into 36 bars. Place bars in refrigerator until cold, about 1 hour.

Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting, for 1 to 3 minutes (depending on your microwave). Set cold bars on waxed paper and drizzle melted chocolate over the top.


Pecan Turtle Bars

I was browsing the other day when I ran into this recipe and I kept looking at it saying no way this one works. So I made the crust as it said to do, nope, epic fail there, way too much for the filling. The filling called for 1 cup of pecans for a 9 x 13 pan, I guess everyone was going to get one pecan with their smear of filling…. so adjustment needed there also. The filling sounded good but again it wouldn’t even cover the crust. This is sometimes where experience comes in. So because I liked the filling I adjusted the whole recipe for a 9 x 9 pan.

Back to this recipe, I absolutely loved the result. The crust is like a buttery shortbread cookie, the filling almost like a toffee kind of caramel, topped with pecans and chocolate. Yum. They are very rich so cut it into 16 pieces, you can always go back for more.

When making the filling you are going to think (as I did) that this is way too much butter, keep stirring….. it will all come together and it is what gives this crust it’s wonderful shortbread flavor. You can put the pecans on the baked crust if you want before putting the filling over, but since I am a little OCD when it comes to baking, I wanted all of my pecans face side up which absolutely makes no sense as there is chocolate going over most of them. LOL….. your choice…..

Quick tip: Double the crust amount but only use half. Put the other half in a freezer bag and freeze. Now it is ready for a second batch of these whenever you need it. This will be really helpful with the upcoming holiday season.