Turtle Cookie Bars

When I was a child in Canada, I always remember eating those sticky chocolate and caramel candies that looked like a turtle and were called turtles.

I loved those things. When I flipped through the cookbook my mom gave me at my wedding, I found these turtle cookie bars that sounded amazing. They were a must for my friends.

Not only for me, but also because I was looking for an extra treat to make today. Yes, today is my birthday.

In Italy, when it’s your birthday, you invite your friends or family for coffee or a snack, not the other way around. It took me a while to get used to this little tradition.

So tonight I’m having a few people over for coffee and dessert. And since it’s Christmas time, I always make a few pans of Hello Dollies or Seven Layer Bars, which are the favorite Christmas cookies of my Italian family and friends, but this year I decided to try something new.

My next three items will be the 3 desserts I served to my friends. First, there are the Turtle Cookie Bars.


Crust :
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened

2nd layer
1 cup of pecan halves or chopped pecans
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup of milk chocolate bites


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl; beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Tap mixture firmly into ungreased 13×9-inch pan.

Arrange pecans on crust.

Combine 2/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in saucepan; bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over pecans. Cook at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Remove from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chunks. Let stand 2-3 minutes or until chocolate is slightly melted. Gently swirl the chocolate with a knife, leaving a few whole pieces (do not spread). Cool on a rack at room temperature until chocolate is set. Cut into squares.

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