The first cookie for our holiday baskets was definitely a hit this year! This seemed to be everyone’s favorite, especially the chocolate lovers. It’s fairly easy, and you could probably get more cookies out of each batch than I did – I just made them a little larger. The original recipe, which came from an old Southern Living issue, called for chopped caramel squares, and they ARE delicious if you’re up for cutting up the candy. If not, I tried subbing butterscotch chips, and the cookies still got good reviews – even if they were no longer, “turtles.” As an aside, I did not modify anything in our holiday baskets, but you certainly could make these gluten free, though I’m not sure how well they would come out if you subbed out the butter to make them dairy free. Worth a try for someone who loves chocolate, though!
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened, 1/2 cup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, regular or mini size
- ½ cup chopped caramel squares or butterscotch chips
- ½ cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
If you are using caramel squares (and I do recommend this if you have the time), cut them into small pieces. If you skipped this step and went with butterscotch chips instead, the flavor will be different, but it is still good and definitely saves some time.
Combine the chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and butterscotch chips/caramel pieces in a bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup to roll the cookie balls in before baking.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. In a separate, larger mixing bowl cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, beat again. Add the flour mixture and the add ins to the wet mixture, mix with a spatula (or on low with a mixer) just until is combined. Don’t overwork the dough.
Form balls about with about two tablespoons of dough each, and roll each ball in the chips and nuts before baking. You can skip this step if you want – it’s decorative more than anything…but it does look nice!
Place the cookies on a prepared (I used foil, a silicone mat would be great as well) baking sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.