01 December 2011

Turtle Cookies {12 weeks of Christmas Cookies}

Over the past year of doing this blog, I've kinda fallen in love with food photography. I love trying to set up props and get a good shot. I take way too many photos and then I spend what seems like forever scrutinizing each one to get the perfect ones for the post. And if anyone besides me looked at each picture they'd think they were the same photo, but I can tell the difference.

Then there are those times that you know you have the shot. You can feel it, you've taken the great food photo. You turn off your camera, eat the evidence and move on.

And then you download the pictures and realize they suck. (Well, maybe they aren't horrible, but you don't like them, which means they suck, right?)

Enter these Turtle Cookie photos.

They are horrible, according to me. They look nothing like how I envisioned them.

I don't think they do the cookies justice, but I loved the cookies. They. Were. Awesome.

They start with the greatest chocolate cookie recipe. And then I filled them with a salted caramel buttercream.

Then I dipped them in chocolate and toasted pecans.

You're welcome.

It's a meal in a cookie, if you ask me. Dairy, carbs, protein. It's all in there.

Even if the photo isn't one I'm proud of. The one I liked best wasn't even a staged shot.

But that doesn't matter, right?

Hey, guess how many weeks until Christmas? Not very many, because this is week 10 of the 12 weeks of cookies. Um, yikes!

Turtle Cookies

Chocolate Cookies
(Recipe slightly adapted from LilaLoa)
10 tablespoons butter
3/4 cups sugar
1 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
½ + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cups cocoa
1 ¾ cups flour

Preheat oven to 375°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Mix in baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Beat until well blended. Add flour ½ cup at a time. The dough will seem sticky, but it will come together just right. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface (no need to refrigerate first) and cut your cookies into whatever shape/size you want. I used small circles, because let’s be honest…it’s a sandwich cookie and we’ll be eating two cookies for every one treat we eat. Bake about 5-6 minutes depending on size and let cool before filling.

Caramel Buttercream Filling:
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup caramel sauce (I love Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel)
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and caramel sauce with a hand-held mixer until well combined. Slowly beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Line up your cookies and frost half of them with the buttercream. Close your sandwiches with the other cookie.

½ cup pecans, chopped and toasted*
1 cup chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips (using a microwave or double boiler, whatever floats your boat). Place your pecans in a shallow bowl. Dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate and then the pecans. Place on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet and chill until firm.

*To toast your pecans…place on a baking sheet and roast at 350° for only a few minutes. Do not walk away from the oven. As soon as you can smell them they are done. (And they will burn quickly.)

Yield: about 1 dozen

This recipe may be linked with:
MondayMingle Monday (Add a Pinch), Joy of DessertsTuesday2 Maids a Baking (2 Maids a Milking), Tea Party Tuesdays (Sweetology), Mushki Loves My Stuff (Mushki Loves), Totally Tasty Tuesdays (Mandy's Recipe Box), Talent Show Tuesday (Chef in Training). WednesdayCast Party WednesdayMade It On Monday (Lark's Country Heart), This Chick Cooks.  ThursdaySweet Treats Thursday (Something Swanky), Chic-and-Crafty (Frugal Girls), Turning the Table Thursdays (Around My Family Table), Tasty Thursday (The How-To Mommy), Tastetastic Thursday (A little nosh). FridaySweet Tooth Friday (Alli-n-son), I'm Lovin' it Fridays (TidyMom), Friday Favorites (Simply Sweet Home). SaturdaySweets for a Saturday (Sweet as Sugar Cookies), Seasonal Inspiration (Crumbs and Chaos). SundayA Well-Seasoned Life,Sharing Sundays (Everyday Sisters), Strut your Stuff Saturday (Six Sisters' Stuff), Moms Crazy Cooking

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