Turtle Cookies

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

It’s been forever since I’ve blogged…but with good reason! My baby girl arrived October 2nd, and I’ve been so focused on her, I’ve had a hard time giving up time to do anything else! However, I did find some time to make tons of Christmas cookies, all of which I’m going to try to blog about! First up, Turtle Cookies!

Turtle with words

I found the recipe for the Turtle Cookies at The Kitchen is My Playground. These looked so good, I had to try them!

You will need…
Cookie:
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder (I used dark chocolate cocoa powder)
1/4 tsp. salt
8 T. (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1 large egg, separated, plus 1 additional egg white
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. pecans, finely chopped

Caramel Filling:
14 soft caramel candies (I used Kraft Traditional Caramels)
3 T. heavy cream

To make the cookies…

1. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.

2. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla; mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined.

3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. I left it in for about 2 hours and found that I really needed the heat from my hands to make the dough more pliable.

4. Whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy (I used my hand mixer which made this SO much easier). Place chopped pecans in another bowl. Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, and then roll in pecans. Place balls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each dough ball. Be careful when making the indentations, though. The spoon I used stuck every time. It might help to put a little butter or oil on the outside before making the indentations.

5. Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 12 minutes.

Prepare the Caramel Filling:
6. Microwave caramels and cream together in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.

7. Once cookies are removed from the oven, gently re-press the indentations. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of the caramel mixture. Cool on the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

The Kitchen is My Playground’s recipe also has an option for a chocolate drizzle, but I skipped that part!

I have to say I had extremely high expectations for these cookies, but they kind of fell flat. Don’t get me wrong, they were good, I just expected a lot more!

One plus- I used the leftover caramels to make dark chocolate covered caramels…my favorite!

Baking love,
Heather

Chocolate Pretzel Coconut Layer Bars

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

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Every few weeks I have a work meeting with other teachers in the same position as me and I (almost) always bring some kind of treat for everyone. This week, one of the other teachers asked if I would bring something chocolatey and coconuty…I was happy to oblige, seeing how these are two of my favorite flavors!

After searching the internet a bit for the perfect recipe, I ran across these Chocolate Pretzel Coconut Layer Bars on the Very Best Baking website. These sounded so delicious, I had to make them!!

To make the bars you will need:
(The amounts are what are in the original recipe, but the only thing I actually “measured” were the things that didn’t really need measuring- cake mix, butter, egg, and milk):

1 pkg German Chocolate Cake
1/2 crushed pretzels
1/2 cup butter, softened (the regular recipe calls for it to be melted, but mine came out just fine just softened)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels (I actually used the entire package…I love chocolate!)
1 cup butterscotch flavored morsels (I used about half of a package)
1 cup flaked coconut (I used half a package)
1 cup chopped pecans (I used an entire small bag)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.
2. Combine the cake mix, pretzels, butter, and egg in a bowl. Mix on medium until well mixed.
3. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. I found it was MUCH easier to just use my hands for this part.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is puffy and looks dry. Cool for 5 minutes.
5. Layer remaining ingredients over the crust. Pour the sweetened condensed last.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool completely! Cut into bars and enjoy!

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These bars were a complete hit at my meeting- everyone loved them and were raving about them! I loved that this was something I could bake, but I didn’t have to worry so much about exact measurements. I really don’t think you can go with the combination of ingredients used here!

Baking love,
Heather