These Turtle Thumbprint Cookies are a delicious melt-in-your-mouth cookie combining the flavors of almond, pecan, caramel, and chocolate. Be sure to try my Turtle Cheesecake for another sweet dessert. Looking for more great cookie recipes? Check these out!

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

There are quite a few variations of turtle cookies on the market.  This interpretation is my absolute favorite!  The base is a chewy shortbread cookie, filled to the brim with ooey gooey caramel and then topped with chopped pecans and drizzled with milk chocolate. If you love the flavor combination of turtle desserts, I also have Turtle Cookie Cups you will love!

Easy Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

Can I Use Different Ingredients?

Yes, feel free to swap out dark chocolate for the milk chocolate or walnuts or almonds in place of pecans.

Thumbprint Cookies

How to Store Thumbprint Cookies

You can freeze and store Turtle Thumbprint cookies. You might not want a whole batch laying around the house for fear of devouring them all.  After baking, allow the cookies to cool completely, and then place them in a freezer-safe container.  I would suggest setting them flat and then adding a layer of parchment paper on top.  Some cookie recipes can just be thrown in a bag, but that will not work with this turtle thumbprint recipe.  Since the caramel needs to freeze to harden, if you just throw them in a bag it will spill out everywhere and make a huge mess (It will still taste amazing though).

How to Make Thumbprint Cookies

PRO TIP:  If you are planning to use these in a cookie exchange, freezing them will be your best bet!  Transporting these cookies might prove to be a bit of a challenge due to the caramel center.  Another alternative would be instead of using the caramel topping, you could melt down a few caramel candies instead.  These will harden as they cool, unlike the caramel topping.

4.92 from 12 votes

Turtle Thumbprint

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
These Turtle Thumbprint Cookies are a delicious melt in your mouth cookie combining the flavors of almond, pecan, caramel and chocolate.


Thumbprint Cookie

  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) salted butter, softened
  • cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature


  • ¼ cup milk chocolate chips, melted
  • ½ cup caramel topping
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped


Thumbprint Cookie

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Mix in almond extract, flour, and egg yolk until dough comes together. 
  • Roll dough into 1 ½ inch balls and place on the lined cookie sheet. Using a spoon, (I used a teaspoon) make a small impression in the center of each ball.
  • Bake for 14-18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned.  
  • Cool completely before filling.


  • Once the cookies have cooled, fill each impression with caramel sauce, and top with pecans.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips.  Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of each cookie. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in a plastic bag in the microwave. Just be sure to massage it between heating cycles to make sure it heats evenly.


The video doesn’t show the egg yolk being added, my apologies! Please follow the written recipe. 

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Loved the Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies. I used Strawberry and Apricot Preserves that is what I had on hand. Just delicious! The cookies were a little crumbly, but but still delicious and all were eaten.

  2. Hoping someone can answer this! I’m baking these for our family Thanksgiving on Saturday, and I wanted to bake them ahead of time (tonight, Thursday). Does anybody know how these cookies will hold up if they are baked tonight which is Thursday and served on Saturday for our Thanksgiving party? I was also considering just pre-making the cookie dough and then keeping the dough in the fridge until Friday or Saturday and baking them at that time. keeping cookie dough in the refrigerator for a few days has always worked well for me and even drastically improve the quality of many cookies, but just wondering if anybody else has tried this with the specific recipe? would I be better off baking the bases and keeping the bases in the fridge or freezer until Saturday and then adding the caramel and chocolate afterwards? So many questions, so many options, what is a girl to do?

  3. Okay so I made the base of the cookie so far and had a little taste. no toppings yet, just the cookie and it’s AMAZING. but they’re so crumbly!!!! How can I make them again so they dont fall apart? I chilled the dough before cooking and they’re not flat at all. I’m hoping after they cool a bit more that they will firm up.

  4. Do you buy the Caramel in the jar or do you make our own? Also, do you add the egg yolk in the beginning or just when you see it is too dry?

  5. Another great recipe! I measure my ingredients by weight and I so appreciate when you indicate grams/ounces of ingredients. I’ve yet to find a cup or spoon that gives an honest measure so by weight has been my go-to. I was able to get 23 cookies at 28g each out of the dough. They came out quite large (larger than the photo appears). I didn’t have caramel topping but made a batch and now that my cookies have cooled, I am going to fill. Thank you for another great recipe. I am so grateful to have come across your sight. I have 5 dozen cupcakes to bake for a Church event on Saturday and just hit the “Cupcakes” tab. I believe these are the same cupcakes they will be serving in heaven! I cannot wait to choose which I’ll bake and review them. Oh what fun!!

    1. Hi, Debby! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. No, you don’t need any baking powder for this recipe. Have a great day!

    1. Sorry they seemed dry to you? Potentially they were baked a tad to long? Almond Extract wouldn’t be the cause of dryness.

    1. Hi, Tracy! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Yes, you can freeze these cookies. After baking, allow the cookies to cool completely, and then place them in a freezer-safe container. Set them flat and then add a layer of parchment paper on top.

  6. Love your recipes you really work hard putting it all together and making it easy to follow step by step thank you from a teachers point of you bravo thank you

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