One of my all-time favorite candies is the famous Turtles. You know those, right? They’re beautiful little bites of luscious pecans and rich, thick caramel covered with milk chocolate. And that’s just what these bars are. The same things that make Turtles so delicious all baked on top of a buttery shortbread base. This recipe comes from one of my favorite old cookbooks called “Pines and Plantations” which was published back in the 70’s or 80’s. That cookbook is so well loved and so long used that I have to hold it together with a rubber band. The front cover was long lost and the back is holding on by a thread but it’s still one of my go-to volumes for tried and true recipes.
I made a batch of these Turtle Cookie Bars recently to send to work with BeeBop. I think it would be fair to say they were a hit :-)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter in a medium bowl. Stir together until well mixed.
Pat the mixture firmly into an ungreased 13×9-inch pan. I use a glass pan for these bars only so that I can see how brown the crust is getting. You can use any 13×9 pan that you have.
Sprinkle the pecan halves evenly over the unbaked crust layer.
Prepare the caramel layer by combining the butter and brown sugar in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a rapid boil. Continue cooking for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly. Be careful not to let the caramel get too dark or burn.
Pour the boiling mixture evenly over the pecans and crust. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the crust is light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Let the chips sit for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Spread the melted chips evenly over the surface. Allow to cool completely in the baking dish before cutting into bars or squares.
Makes 3-4 dozen depending on the size you cut them :-)
More holiday treats you might enjoy:
- Chocolate Snow Cookies from Amanda’s Cookin’
- Pecan Butter Balls from Creative Culinary
- Red Velvet Christmas Cookies from Tidy Mom
- Smokin’ Nut Mix from Drick’s Rambling Cafe
- S’More Truffles for Grown Ups from Mele Cotte
- Peppermint Fudge from She Wears Many Hats
- Buckeyes from Brown Eyed Baker