These Loaded Turtle Cookie Bars are a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and turtle candy. They're loaded with Rolo candies, chocolate and pecans all wrapped up in a buttery cookie batter. You can enjoy them with or without the drizzle of ganache on top, but who would want to? They're unapologetically rich and meant for sharing with the special people in your life.
Easy Loaded Turtle Cookie Bars Recipe
If you'd like to serve these cookie bars while the filling is still gooey, I highly recommend you try them warm and freshly drizzled with ganache. Make these Loaded Turtle Cookie Bars for your next bake sale, a backyard cookout or for your holiday goodies. By the way, there's no need to wait until the holidays, every baker knows you need to do a trial run ahead of time for snacking, I won't tell if you won't. These are the kind of cookie bars that kids of all ages love, and the chocolate drizzle gives them just the right amount of decadence.
How to Make the Best Loaded Turtle Cookie Bars Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Loaded Turtle Cookie Bars: All purpose flour, butter, baking powder, salt, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, large eggs, vanilla extract, chopped toasted pecans, Rolos candies, milk chocolate chips and vegetable shortening (or butter).
- Kitchen tools you'll need: A 13 x 9 inch baking pan, measuring cups and spoons, medium bowl, whisk, small microwave safe bowl, sheet pan for toasting pecans, hand mixer, sharp knife and cutting board, nut chopper and heavy bottomed saucepan.
- How do you toast pecans? It's a very simple process and will work for any kind of nut. Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan. Toast in a preheated 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes or just until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool. This can be done one day in advance.
- This recipe does call for two bags of Rolo candies, unwrapped and chopped. They are loaded cookie bars, after all.
- You could swap out milk chocolate chips for semi sweet chocolate chips.
- You can use butter or heavy cream in place of vegetable shortening to thin the chocolate for drizzling on top.
- Store Loaded Turtle Cookie Bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- You can also freeze these cookie bars for up to 3 months.
More Turtle Candy Inspired Desserts to Make
To me, baking sweets for family and friends is one of those small pleasures in life that brings with it big impact. When you share something you've made with other people, it really shows the love. Whether it's teachers, babysitters, neighbors or just that special someone, they're certain to love the effort and thought behind the gesture.
- Caramel Pecan Turtle Scotcheroos are topped with a combination of pecans, caramel and chocolate.
- Frozen Turtle Ice Cream Pie is the perfect warm weather cool down.
- Pretzel Turtles are a vintage sweet treat that anyone can make.
- Chocolate Turtle Bundt Cake is ooey gooey goodness that's guaranteed to impress.
- Chunky Turtle Ice Cream from Cravings of a Lunatic
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Loaded Turtle Cookie Bars
Servings: 24 squares
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 12 oz packages Rolos unwrapped cut in half
- 1 cup chopped pecans toasted and cooled
- ½ cup milk chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoon vegetable shortening
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Liberally spritz a 13 x 9 inch metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan melt the butter. Add the brown sugar. Cook over medium stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool to warm.
- Beat the eggs into the warm mixture one at a time beating well after each. Add the vanilla.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Gradually beat into the creamed butter-brown sugar mixture.
- Pour ½ of the batter into the pan. Top with ½ of the Rolo candies and ½ of the toasted pecan pieces.
- Pour the remaining batter on top. Roughly chop the remaining Rolo candies and sprinkle over the batter. Top with a sprinkle of pecans. [Reserve 2 tablespoon for garnishing]
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick shows moist batter crumbs. [The melted caramel will be gooey,]
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt together the chocolate chips and vegetable shortenng. Heat in 20 second increments stopping to stir each time. Repeat until smooth.
- Drizzle over the warm bars and garnish with pecans.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 281IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!
Could this be frozen ?
Sure, cool completely then wrap in freezer safe wrap.
Can I substitute the Rolos with something else, like plain milk chocolate? Or is it the caramel inside that makes the difference?
I live in Germany and we do not have Rolos here 🙂
HI Dalia, yes the caramel is what sets this apart. That said, you can adapt with another type of caramel candy or use all chocolate, the recipe will still work.
Hi Melissa. These look fabulous. I am considering them putting these little babies in my Christmas goodie containers this year along with your butter pecan cookies. My question is do they hold up nicely? Are they firm enough to add to my containers? Thanks again for your wonderful recipes.
Hi Kim! Since your giving these as gifts why don't you try baking them in regular or mini muffins tins? You could then put them into a festive cupcake liner and pop them right into a tin for gift giving. Depending on the size, adjust the baking time down, of course. Yes if COMPLETELY cooled they hold together beautifully.
Thank you so much for the idea of the muffin tins. For sure doing them this year. Thanks again.
Pinning this one! Rolos are my favorite candy so this should be a wonderful dessert for my upcoming office party!
How nice, lucky co-workers they have a baker in their midst. These bars are ooey and gooey make sure you butter the pan really well so you won't lose a crumb. Happy baking!
Melissa, how long did you cook the brown sugar and butter? I'm on my second attempt and my mixture does not look like your picture. Help please!
Hi Rebecca, over medium around 1-2 minutes. A heavy bottomed pot is a must for this mixture, and really the time can differ depending on how vigorously you allow the mixture to bubble. Think just until the sugar has dissolved, that's all it needs.
My oh my! I am ALL about chocolate & caramel....and Rolos! What a perfect recipe. Thanks a million for sharing it with us at Weekend Potluck. We sure are fond of you and the dishes you bring to our table. Pinning this one for sure.
Hi Marsha, I'm delighted you stopped by. Thanks!
Sheila in MD
These look amazing-how thick are they? They look pretty tall in the pics but not sure if that is just the angle of the photo! Thanks so much!
I've never measured them, but they're similar to any cookie bar around 1 - 1 1/2 inches thick.
Melissa.....if I wanted to add oatmeal to this recipe how much would you suggest and would I need to increase anything else to keep it moist n gooey? This sounds delicious as is, but at this moment in time my mouth is watering and imagining some chewy oatmeal in it.....maybe it wouldn't be a good combo??
Hmm, I haven't ever added oatmeal to these bars. However, I do have an amazing recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars that does include oatmeal.