turtle cookies

There's no harm in simplicity. Vanilla ice cream, plain white t-shirts, a classic French manicure - all have their virtues.

But sometimes, you just gotta be a little extravagant. It can't be helped.

And with that, I say...BA-BAM!!

A chocolate cookie rolled in nuts, filled with gooey caramel goodness, and drizzled with chocolate. This is it, folks. This is it.

Learn this recipe and learn it well. Whip it out whenever you need to beg forgiveness, seduce prospective boyfriends, or suck up to your math teacher.

It's actually pretty simple to make, but your friends will probably bow down at your feet after tasting one of these bad boys. Speaking from experience, of course :)

Turtle Cookies

(adapted from America's Test Kitchen, as shared by Pixelated Crumb)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, separated, plus 1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups pecans, chopped fine (walnuts also work well)
14 soft caramel candies
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in bowl. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites in bowl until frothy. Place pecans in another bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, then roll in pecans. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using 1/2-teaspoon measure, make indentation in center of each ball. Bake until set, about 12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.

Microwave caramels and cream in bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Once cookies are removed from oven, gently re-press existing indentations. Fill each with 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture. Cool 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.