Turtle Cookies!!

NO, not that kind of turtle (were you expecting to see little green creature cookies?)  I'm talking about chocolate turtles!  As many of you may know I have worked for a chocolate store for a realllllllly long time.  Over 13 years to be exact.  And you know what question I get asked ALL the time?  "Are you totally sick of chocolate since you work around it all day?"  The answer...."Ummm, no.  Are you crazy?"  It's true...I've never ever gotten sick of eating chocolate...and trust me, I've eaten my fair share. :) 

The other question that people ask me quite often is..."What's your favorite chocolate in the whole store?"  I'd like to state that over the years I've tried every single thing in this place (it's called job research...hello!) but I always seem to go towards the same two things:  milk chocolate pecan slowpokes and pecan caramel truffles.   The traditional "turtle" is pecans, caramel, and chocolate...but here at Betsy Ann we call them slowpokes. Clever, huh?  And let me tell you....if you've never had a Betsy Ann truffle in your life...you.are.missing.out.   Simply. Amazing. You.Get.The.Point.  So I can stop.typing.like.this.

So my mission was to translate my favorite chocolate candy into a cookie and the result was INSANELY yummy!  I found these at Target...perfect!
caramel bits!  No unwrapping needed!
Here are my caramel chocolate pecan cookies!  And guess what....I'm sharing the recipe with you...just scroll down! 

Ingredients
1 cup softened margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
approx. 1 cup Kraft caramel bits (I ate a handful to make sure they were ok... lol)
approx. 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (I ate a handful to make sure they were ok... lol)
approx. 1 cup chocolate chips (I ate a handful to make sure they were ok... lol)

Preheat the oven to 375.

DEFINITELY line your cookie sheets with parchment (the melted caramel will stick to the cookie sheets and it's not easy to get off!) 

Using your mixer, cream the margarine and sugars until fluffy and then add in the egg and vanilla.  Beat on medium until well-mixed. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the margarine mixture and mix well.  Mix in the caramels, chocolate chips and pecans with a wooden spoon and stir until combined.  Drop the dough in rounded tablespoons onto the cookie sheets.  Bake for approximately 11 minutes(I use dark cookie sheets so depending on which kind you use the baking time may vary) until the cookies just start to brown.  Allow them to continue to bake on the warm cookie sheets for 5-7 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.  Try to keep from eating a really hot cookie because the caramel WILL burn your mouth (Obviously I'm speaking from experience...ouch!).   Store cooled cookies in an air-tight container and they will remain soft and chewy!  Enjoy!