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Butter Pecan Turtle Bars

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1-3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 cups whole small pecans
20 caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons light cream
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Butter Pecan Turtle Bars

This classic and delicious bar cookie recipe is made better with lots more caramel and chocolate.

  • Serves 24
  • Medium

About This Recipe

This fabulous recipe for Butter Pecan Turtle Bars is so delicious. Bar cookies are, of course, my favorite because thy make a bunch, and you don’t have to fiddle with each individual cookie.

These bars are a little tricky to make, because you make one kind of syrup, and you also melt caramels for another syrup so the bars are extra rich. But you can do it!

They are the perfect cookie for the holidays. This recipe makes a large batch, which is always a good thing.

I always use milk chocolate chips to top the bars, but you can use a combination of semisweet and milk chocolate chips if you’d like. Remember that even in baking, there are options.

Enjoy every bite of this wonderful recipe that is perfect for a cookie tray as well as a bake sale. Or just because it’s Tuesday and it’s snowing outside again.

Tips for the best Butter Pecan Turtle Bars:

  • Measure the flour correctly. Honestly, this is the best advice I can give for any baking recipe. Because these recipes are fine-tuned, every ingredient needs to be measured properly, with actual measuring cups and spoons. Never use a coffee cup or a soup spoon for measuring, no matter what you may have seen on a television cooking show.
  • When you add the melted butter to the flour mixture, this is a shortcut to making a shortbread. It’s easier since you don’t have to cut the cold butter into the flour. But the same rule applies: Don’t overwork the mixture. Stop when it looks like crumbs.
  • Now, the syrup mixture. It’s just butter and brown sugar melted together and cooked until it forms a syrup. That means you have to keep cooking until the two ingredients combine and look, well, syrupy. Just keep going – it will come together.
  • Drizzle the syrups over the cookie base slowly. That way you won’t have a huge clump of syrup in one spot and dry cookie base in another.

Why this recipe works:

  • The combination of tender cookie, sweet and smooth toffee and caramel syrups, and milk chocolate chips is spectacular.

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Preheat the oven to 350°F.


In a large bowl, combine the flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar and mix well. Add the finely chopped pecans.


Add the melted butter to this mixture and mix until crumbly. Don't overmix. Pat the crumbs evenly into a 13" x 9" pan. Don't press the crumbs down hard; just until they form an even layer.


Sprinkle the whole pecans over the crust.


In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the unwrapped caramels and light cream. Microwave on high for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Continue microwaving for 30 second intervals on high until the mixture is melted and smooth. Drizzle over the pecans on the crust.


For the toffee mixture, in a medium heavy saucepan, combine 1 cup butter and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Do NOT use margarine.


Place the saucepan over medium high heat until it starts to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture combines and looks like a syrup, about 1 minute. Stir constantly and don't quit before the syrup forms.


Drizzle this mixture evenly over the pecans too.


Bake the bars for 18 to 23 minutes or until the caramel and toffee mixtures are bubbly over the whole surface.


Remove the bars from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Cover the pan with a cookie sheet to trap the heat. Let stand for a few minutes.


Remove the cookie sheet and swirl the chocolate chips over the pecan mixture to marble. Don't spread the chips over bars. Cool on a wire rack and cut into squares.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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