These decadent Turtle Bars have a buttery shortbread crust, a layer of caramel and loads of chocolate and pecans on top!Jump to Recipe
With my sweet tooth, there are very few desserts I don't enjoy. However, there are certainly ones that seem to simply rise to the top of the list!! As soon as I created these Turtle Bars, I knew I had a new favorite!!!
These amazing treats have a thick shortbread cookie layer, gooey caramel and lots of chocolate and crunchy pecans giving all the flavors of a classic turtle! I mean, who can resist a dessert with a layer of rich caramel flowing throughout the center of it?!
Whether you make these for a bake sale, a weeknight meal or as part of your Christmas baking, I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
- Butter - I recommend using salted butter in this recipe.
- Granulated Sugar
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- All-Purpose Flour
- Caramel Bits - I use the bag of Kraft Caramel Bits, but you could also use their soft caramels.
- Heavy Cream
- Chocolate Chips - I like using semi-sweet chocolate chips to balance out the sweetness of the bars. You could also use dark chocolate chips. You could use milk chocolate, but might find it to be too sweet.
- Pecans - Halved or chopped pecans will work for this recipe.
How to Make Turtle Cookie Bars
Make the Shortbread Base
You'll begin by creaming the butter and sugar. I recommend doing in this in a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Then you'll add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and stir until combined.
Lastly, you'll stir in the flour and press ⅔ of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan. You'll bake the crust and reserve the remaining shortbread mixture for the top.
Make the Caramel Layer
For this layer, you'll heat caramel bits and heavy cream in the microwave (or in a small saucepan on medium heat) until smooth. This will be poured over the crust to create a thick layer of caramel.
Assemble and Bake
Once you've spread the caramel over the crust, you'll sprinkle the semisweet chocolate chips and remaining shortbread dough on top.
Lastly, you'll press the pecans into the bars and bake them. Having the pecans on top will toast them just a bit and bring out so much flavor!!
Let the bars cool completely on a wire rack before cutting....if you can wait! 🙂
How should I serve Turtle Bars?
These are exquisite just as they are. However, if you want to really impress, serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream....swooooon!!!!
Frequently Asked Questions
Store leftovers in an airtight container. You can keep them out at room temperature for 3 days or up to a week in the fridge.
Absolutely!! These freeze wonderfully - which makes them super nice for the holiday season!
For this recipe, it's really not necessary. The shortbread crust is butter and therefore comes out of the pan super easily!
Yes, BUT with a slight change. Pour a 12-13 ounce jar of caramel topping into a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of flour. This will ensure that it's not too runny in the final product. Do NOT use the plastic containers of caramel sauce or caramel syrup - these are too runny for this application.