Thursday, November 4, 2021

Caramel Pecan Snapper Cookies


Remember the old-fashioned candy called Turtles? Now that the Christmas displays are arriving in stores, there will likely be some "Turtles" hiding among the boxes of chocolate-covered cherries in the grab-a-gift aisle at grocery and discount stores.

But with a little more effort, you can make homemade cookies for your Thanksgiving snack table or for the gift-giving season. These Caramel Pecan Snapper Cookies were a hit at a summer bridal shower and on a cookie tray for the South Central Community Foundation grants awards night this week. 

Turtles candies were developed in 1918 by Johnson’s Candy Company, which became DeMet’s Candy Company in 1923. A salesman came into the commissary’s dipping room and showed a candy to one of the dippers, who pointed out that the candy looked like a turtle. Soon after, Johnson’s Candy Company was making the same kind of candy and selling it under the name "Turtles."

Today, Turtles candies come in all sizes, shapes and recipes, some even shaped like a turtle, with modern mold-making techniques. The originals were produced by candy dippers on a rectangular marble 'board', similar in size to a contemporary kitchen cutting board. The original recipe, as executed on marble, was pecans, caramel and various chocolates. 

Caramel Pecan Snappers have the elements of the classic Turtle on a pecan-studded cookie. They may be a little messy to eat ... but they are worth the sticky fingers. If you give them a try, let me know how you liked them!

Caramel-Pecan Snappers 
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookies, Brownies and Bars
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
36 caramels, unwrapped
2 tbsp. milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Additional pecans for decoration
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 3/4 cup sugar, shortening and butter in large mixer bowl; cream until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, mixing well. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. 

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Combine chopped pecans and 1/4 cup sugar. Roll cookie balls in pecan mixture. Flatten slightly with greased bottom of glass dipped into sugar. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until set, but not brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to cool.

Place caramels and milk in small microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute, until smooth. Spoon dollop of melted caramel in the center of each cookie. 

Place chocolate chips in small microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on High for 1minute. If necessary, microwave in 10 to 20 second intervals until mixture can be stirred smooth. Place dollop of chocolate on top of caramel. Place pecan piece on top of chocolate. Cool completely. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
To store, put parchment paper or waxed paper between stacked cookies to prevent sticking. 


  1. I'm tempted to try these. Not sure about finding the caramels.

    1. They have been a hit with anyone who has tasted them.