If you’re a fan of classic turtle chocolates, then you’ll love these Turtle Caramel Bars! These dessert bars have a buttery shortbread cookie base, followed by homemade caramel layer, and topped with chopped pecans and gooey melted milk chocolate chips!
With just a few pantry staples, you can make a mouth-watering holiday treat to serve over the festive season or gift these turtle caramel bars to friends and family.
❤️ Why I love this recipe
- They're a easy to make and a bite-sized dessert with classic chocolate turtle ingredients.
- The whole family loves the cookie bar that's similar to the famous candy.
- Turtle caramel bars make great party treats served on a holiday dessert platter alongside Christmas cookies and homemade candy.
- Make these turtle caramel bars ahead of time and serve chilled or reheated.
Enjoy these homemade turtle dessert bars with whipped cream and ice cream, or gift them over the festive season to friends and family!
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Note: The full list of this Caramel Pecan Bar recipe ingredients and their amounts and options are in the recipe card below.
- granulated sugar
- brown sugar
- milk chocolate chips
Note: This is an overview of the instructions. The full instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Whisk the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl and blend the butter with a fork until coarse crumbs form.
- Press the shortbread pastry into the bottom of a cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F.
- Combine brown sugar and butter in a pot over medium-low heat and bring it to a boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour the mixture over the baked shortbread base.
- Sprinkle the nuts on top and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the milk chocolate chips over the top so that they melt. Use the tip of a knife to swirl the chocolate gently. Allow to cool, and then slice to serve.
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- You can either use a fork to blend the butter into the pastry mix or use a food processor.
- Lining the cake pan with parchment paper makes it easy to remove the turtle caramel bars for slicing. Allow enough parchment paper on both sides for makeshift handles. I’ve used parchment paper to line the baking dish, but you could use aluminum foil instead.
- Thaw frozen turtle caramel bars in the refrigerator and serve chilled or reheated in the oven, covered with aluminum foil.
- You can refrigerate these turtle caramel bars once assembled to make the slicing of the bars easier.
- For firmer turtle caramel bars, let the baked dessert bars stand for 2 hours before serving.
- I’ve used a 9x9-inch baking dish for this dessert which creates a decent thickness to each turtle caramel bar. You could use a larger dish, but then you will end up with a slightly thinner slice, and you may also need to adjust the cooking time.
- Replace the chocolate chips with a chopped-up milk chocolate bar.
- Add cocoa powder to the buttery shortbread base for a rich chocolate turtle caramel bar recipe.
- Double the number of slices by slicing smaller bars - great if you are serving at a party as a sweet appetizer.
Store the entire Turtle Caramel Bars in the baking dish, covered with plastic wrap, or wrap individual bars in plastic wrap to store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days or the freezer for up to 6 months.
📗 Related Recipes
Homemade dessert bars are great if you want a bite-sized sweet treat and are easy to make. Try these other recipes if you’re a fan of dessert bars:
- Homemade Brookies - Brookies are a perfect combination of brownies and cookies. Guaranteed to satisfy those sweet-tooth cravings!
- Gooey S'mores Bake - This recipe allows you to enjoy gooey S’mores any time of the year without needing a campfire!
- Caramel Apple Pie Bars - Turn a classic apple pie into these delectable apple pie bars with caramel for added decadence.
🍽 Serve with
📞 Chiacchierata (chat)
These Turtle Pecan Bars take classic holiday turtle chocolates and turn them into delicious dessert bars with shortbread cookie bases. I like to use this recipe at cookie exchange parties or for hosting parties over the festive season. Always a huge hit with kids and adults alike.
This recipe uses pantry staples and is extremely simple to make!
Tutti a tavolo, è pronto!
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📝 Recipe Card
Turtle Caramel bars have shortbread base and homemade caramel layer with a chopped pecans and melted chocolate chips topping! Serve this cookie version of the candy turtle treats at holiday parties or gift them to friends and family.
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
The Best Turtle Caramel Pecan Bars
- 1 ½ cups flour 195 grams
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100 grams
- ¾ cups butter softened (169 grams)
- ½ cup brown sugar packed 110 grams
- ⅔ cup butter 150 grams
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans 150 grams
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips 180 grams
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and sugar, with a pastry blender or fork mix in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. (A food processor works well for this). Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9 inch (23cm) square cake pan. (Line the pan with parchment paper for easy removal).
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
- In a medium pot, combine the brown sugar and butter, over medium/low heat, bring it to a boil, stirring constantly continue to boil for approximately 1-2 minutes, be sure not to let it burn, remove from the heat then pour over baked shortbread basses, sprinkle the nuts on top then bake for approximately 13-15 minutes or until bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with milk chocolate chips, let stand for about 3 minutes then with the tip of a knife, gently swirl the chocolate.
- Let cook completely, then cut into small squares. Enjoy!