the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Chunks of Caramel Turtles

Santa Cruz, California. Lesson two in Joanne Chang’s Masterclass was to create your own custom cookie using her Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe, basically chocolate chip cookies with big chunks of chocolate, and making changes like swapping out chocolate for other ingredients.  I started swapping, and then did some adding, and a little changing, and ended up changing so much it was more like using her ideas as tips. They came out just the way I wanted. The tips work perfectly.


Notes on Ingredients:

Instead of chocolate chunks, I chopped up some left over chocolate covered caramel turtles. Don’t ask how I happen to have left over caramel turtles. This cookie would also be a good recipe to use with some of the leftover Halloween candy.

I browned some of the butter, which I make ahead and cool. Instead of half white sugar and half brown sugar (which is white sugar with molasses added), I used all white sugar and some sorghum syrup instead of molasses. I don’t add salt, because I use salted butter instead of buying unsalted butter. And, I use lots of vanilla, which improves the flavor.

After the dough is mixed, it is refrigerated overnight. This improves the taste and texture of the cookies.

I have listed the brands for all the ingredients because ingredients are everything, and I have found that these brands give superior results. If I’m going to spend time making something I want it to be the best.

Tips for Making Caramel Turtle Cookies:

  • The best ingredients are used. (A tip from us – see Eat Better)
  • Half of the butter was browned (A tip from us – see Beurre Noisette)
  • Sugar and sorghum syrup were used instead of brown sugar (A tip from us)
  • The ingredients are brought to room temperature before starting. (A tip from lots of bakers)
  • The ingredients are measured by weight using a scale. (A tip from lots of bakers)
  • The butter and sugar are creamed for several minutes to make sure they are light and fluffy. (A tip from Joanne Chang)
  • King Arthur all purpose flour is used because it has a higher protein content and provides more chew to the cookies.
  • The batter is refrigerated overnight. (a tip from Shirley O. Corriher)
  • Two teaspoons of vanilla are used instead of just one, which improves the flavor (a tip from Sara Moulton)
  • Imitation vanilla is used instead of real vanilla because it retains the vanilla flavor after baking. (A tip from Test Kitchen)
  • The cookies are portioned out using a scoop. (A tip from lots of bakers)
  • The oven temperature is checked using an oven thermometer. (A tip from lots of bakers)

All of these things added up to an incredible cookie – crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, and loaded with flavor.

How these Caramel Turtle Cookies Fit into our Plan to EAT BETTER:

While looking for the best ingredients, we discovered that many companies that care about quality also care about sustainability. This made a huge dent in our carbon footprint. We have listed the brands for some of the ingredients because ingredients are everything. These brands give superior results. And by using brands like Horizon butter and Wholesome sugar we cut our carbon footprint (see: we cut our carbon footprint in half ) and are helping to control climate change.

Caramel Turtle Cookies


Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramel turtle cookies


  • scale
  • stand mixer
  • cookie scoop
  • parchment paper
  • oven thermometer



  • Gather all the ingredients on the counter an hour before starting and allow them to come to room temperature.
  • Place a medium sized bowl on the scale. Zero the scale and measure the flours into the bowl, zeroing the scale after each measurement.
  • Add the baking soda (and salt, if unsalted butter is used) to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add the chopped turtles and chocolate to the flour and stir to combine.
  • Place the stand mixer bowl on the scale and measure in the browned butter, butter, sugar, and sorghum syrup, zeroing the scale for each measurement. Using the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the ingredients first on low until combined, and then on medium for 6 to 8 minutes, stopping every couple of minutes to scrape down the bowl. The batter should be light colored and fluffy.
  • Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Add the vanilla and mix with a fork until blended.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the egg mixture to the batter and mix for two minutes until the eggs are incorporated.
  • With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter and mix just until all the flour is incorporated. Do not overwork the batter.
  • Cover with plastic wrap directly on the batter to make an airtight seal. Refrigerate the dough overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, using an oven thermometer to make sure of the temperature.
  • Using a scale, scoop out cookies that are 2 ounces in size. Place them on parchment paper on the baking sheets, leaving a two inch space between each.
  • Bake 1 tray at a time. Bake until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and centers are still soft, about 10 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack. If possible, allow them to cool before serving.


The cookie batter needs to rest in the refrigerator overnight.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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