Espresso Salted Caramel Turtle Sandies

Ohio State Fair Best Cookie Winner

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Espresso Salted Turtle Sandies 1

These Espresso Salted Caramel Turtle Sandies are another all-time favorite cookie from our archives. With state fair season upon us, the timing is perfect for trying new recipes. Give this one a shot. Maybe perfect it for a cookie to enter at your fair this year.

The espresso powder the recipe calls for gives the cookie distinction. It is in the cookie dough, along with mini chocolate chips and pecans, which add another dimension to the cookie. Once baked, you add a caramel drizzle, made from caramel bits. You finish the cookies with some flair: a sprinkling of chopped pecans and a drizzle of bittersweet chocolate chips.

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Espresso salted caramel turtle sandies won first place many years back at the Ohio State Fair, 2014, to be exact. Recipe credit goes to blue ribbon winning baker, Janet Gill.

Janet wanted to compete with a new take on the famous Pecan Sandies many of us know. Mission accomplished! With its mocha flavor and delicious drizzles, Janet created quite an epic cookie and deserves major kudos.

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My mom who baked our test run with me said to note that tasters should chew slowly and luxuriously to enjoy all the delightful dimensions of this cookie! I agree. Find out for yourself and bake these today! And if you love pecans, be sure to try this other Ohio State Fair winning cookie for Toasted Pecan Honey Squares.



Espresso Salted Caramel Turtle Sandies

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon instant espresso

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, divided

1 cup caramel bits

4-5 teaspoons half and half

1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon shortening

1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (or lightly grease them). Mix vanilla and espresso in small bowl and set aside. Cream butter and brown sugar in large mixing bowl. Add vanilla and espresso and mix well. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and mix just until combined. Stir in the mini chocolate chips and 1/2 cup pecans. Roll dough into tablespoon-size balls and place on cookie sheets. Flatten to about 1/4-inch size with bottom of a floured drinking glass. Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool. Melt caramel chips and half and half in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Place bowl of melted caramel over a pan of simmering water to keep caramel from becoming too thick. (Or use a double boiler.) Using a fork, drizzle a generous amount of caramel over a cookie. Immediately sprinkle a small pinch of sea salt over caramel and then a sprinkle of the pecans. Repeat for remaining cookies. Melt bittersweet chocolate chips with shortening and place in heavy duty re-sealable plastic bag. Cut tiny whole in corner of bag and drizzle over cookies as the final step. Makes 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.

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