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This recipe is part of Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies.

Turtle Bars

Turtle Bars

When I think of turtles, I think of the chewy, chocolatey confection of caramel and pecans coated with milk chocolate. In Texas, we called them Longhorns, and they were made by Lammes Candies. These bars are closer to what I grew up calling pecan bars. They have a buttery crust and a healthy layer of pecans, with a thin sticky layer of caramel binding it all together. They’re drizzled with milk chocolate in the end, but the predominant flavor for me is of pecans. Think pecan pie without the thick filling in the middle.

A few notes about this recipe:

  • Crust was thin, so the pecans can’t be pushed too far down into the crust without breaking the crust. This means the pecans would dislodge with a little movement, like when the bars are cut.
  • The caramel is boiled for one minute, but it still got a little gritty after a few hours.
  • Pecan halves look better, but they don’t cut cleanly because of the item above (they dislodge from the crust).
  • Baked in a 13x9 metal pan
  • Assumed 1 c flour = 4.5 oz.

Turtle Bars
12 T unsalted butter
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 c AP flour
2 c pecan halves

8 T unsalted butter
3/4 c (packed) light brown sugar, lump free
1 c milk chocolate chips or 6 oz milk chocolate, chopped

13x9” pan, lined on the bottom and all 4 sides with foil

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  2. To make the crust, cut butter into chunks and melt in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated.
  5. Press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan and scatter the pecans over the dough.
  6. Bake until the pecans are lightly toasted, 10 – 12 minutes.
  7. Set the pan aside by leave the oven on while making the topping.
  8. To make the topping, combine the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan.
  9. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  10. Boil for 1 minute (mixture may look curdled).
  11. Pour the hot butter mixture over the pecans on the crust.
  12. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until the topping is dark and bubbling vigorously.
  13. Remove the pan from the oven and scatter the chocolate chops or chopped chocolate evenly over the top (or melt and drizzle the chocolate decoratively over the bars after they have cooled).
  14. Cool the bars in the pan on a rack.
  15. Run a slim knife along the unlined sides of the pan.
  16. Lift the ends of the foil liner and transfer to a cutting board.
  17. Use a long sharp knife to cut into 24 bars.

Makes 24 bars

May be stored, airtight, for at least 1 week

This recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies, and is available on Purple House Dirt with permission from the author. 

Gooey Turtle Bars on Foodista


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I'm a sucker for anything

I'm a sucker for anything with caramel!

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I'm a sucker for anything with caramel!

Oop, that was from me sorry!

Melissa @foodista.com

Oh, who isn't? I would bathe in caramel if it didn't burn so bad

lovely tequila caramel. salty caramel. Is there a bad caramel? I daresay not.