Crazy for Crust

Turtle Brownies

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I could live on caramel and pecans and chocolate.

If you’re like me, then these Turtle Brownies could sustain you for a day or two, because they are chock full of caramel and pecans and fudgy chocolate!

Turtle Brownies | | A ton of turtle flavor in one brownie! The fudgy brownie is filled and topped with caramel and pecans!

My mom was a meter reader when I was a kid. She worked for the power company and would spend her days walking miles and miles (and miles) from house to house, reading the electric meter. I used to love the days she was in my Nana’s neighborhood, because I’d get on my scooter and ride along with her while she walked.

One time, I remember she found a turtle. I don’t know where she found it, or why she thought to bring it home, but she did. We immediately made a home for it in the bathtub. I remember watching it scurry around eating lettuce or something green.

I don’t remember how long Mr. Turtle was with us but I don’t think it was that long. I’m pretty sure that was back when there was only one bathroom in the house and we had to take showers. I think I remember my mom telling me he “ran away” and I searched for him under furniture and in cabinets and never found him.

I’m pretty sure my mom’s definition of “ran away” is different then mine.

I don’t know why but whenever I think of the Turtle candy, I think of that turtle. I also think of my mom because turtles are one of her absolute favorite candies. She’d get a box and it would be gone before I could beg for seconds (or thirds).

I’m sharing these Turtle Brownies today because Saturday is my mom’s birthday. These would be the perfect way to celebrate her day.

And guess what mom? The entire batch (er, minus one) is in the freezer waiting for you on Sunday. They’re all yours!

Happy Birthday!

Turtle Brownies | | A ton of turtle flavor in one brownie! The fudgy brownie is filled and topped with caramel and pecans!

These brownies combine my love of super fudgy brownies with caramel and pecans. And when I say super fudgy I mean super x1000.

My favorite brownie recipe, which I’ve shared a million times, has three kinds of chocolate in them: semi-sweet, unsweetened, and cocoa powder. Mixed with the melted butter and sugar, these brownies are chocolate and rich to the extreme.

Note about cocoa powder: you can use regular unsweetened or the Hershey’s Special Dark. I actually used a combination in this recipe (1 tablespoon of each) because I ran out of regular in the middle and was too lazy to walk out to my storage area in the garage and get the new container. Use what you have!

The “turtle” in these Turtle Brownies is doubled because the brownies are filled with caramel bits and pecans, and then topped with chocolate, caramel, and a pecan half. It’s like a turtle on top of a turtle brownie.

Note: if you can’t find the caramel bits (a Kraft product), you can use chopped Rolos or Hershey’s Caramel Kisses, or any other similar candy. I always find the caramel bits at my Super Target, occasionally at Walmart, and sometimes at different grocery stores.

I love my brownies underdone. That’s what gives them the immense fudgy look and taste. A brownie that is overcooked is not fudgy – it’s just crumbs. These brownies are stick-to-the-knife brownies. I baked mine for 23 minutes but the instructions specify 23-28. If you prefer them more done, cook them longer. My toothpick, one inch from the edge, had crumbs on it when I tested them.

{And while we’re on the topic of baking times…do you have an oven thermometer? You should get one. It will ensure your bake times are correct!}

If you love Turtles…you’ll love these Turtle (Caramel Pecan) Brownies.

Mom, I may have to steal one more of them.

Turtle Brownies | | A ton of turtle flavor in one brownie! The fudgy brownie is filled and topped with caramel and pecans!

Er, make that two.

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Servings: 16

Turtle Brownies


  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate — coarsely chopped
  • 5 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate — coarsely chopped, divided
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter + 1 tablespoon — divided
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder — regular or Special Dark or a combo
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup caramel bits — see note
  • 1/4 cup caramel bits or 6 caramel squares — unwrapped
  • 2 teaspoons milk — regular, low- or fat-free
  • 16 pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x9” pan with cooking spray or line with foil and spray with cooking spray for easy removal.
  2. Add unsweetened baking chocolate, 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, and 3/4 cup unsalted butter to a large microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until melted and smooth.
  3. Stir in sugar, then eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla extract and cocoa powder. Gently stir in flour.
  4. Add chopped pecans and 3/4 cup caramel bits (see note) to the batter and stir. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 23-28 minutes, until a toothpick comes out 1” from the center with a few crumbs. (I like mine under done and super fudgy, so I baked them for 23 minutes. If you like them more done, go a few minutes longer.)
  5. Let brownies cool completely at room temperature, then cut into 16 bars.
  6. Melt 3 remaining ounces of semi-sweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon butter. (In the microwave, melt in 30 second increments, stirring between each.)
  7. Melt 1/4 cup caramel bits or 6 caramel squares with milk in 30 second increments, stirring between each.
  8. Spoon about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of chocolate on each brownie and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Top with a drizzle of caramel and a pecan half. Let cool to set.
  9. I don’t recommend refrigerating these to speed the chill time. The caramel will get hard if they are chilled. Store them in a covered container at room temperature.

Turtle Brownie Pies

turtle brownie pies

Turtle Cake Roll


Turtle Cookies

chocolate chip turtle cookies

Sweets from friends:
Turtle Rice Krispie Treats by Something Swanky
No Fail Turtle Fudge by Back for Seconds
Magic Turtle Bars by Chocolate, Chocolate, and More

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  1. I love Turtles! I would gut ga-ga for these, Dorothy! That oozing caramel is just killing me 🙂

  2. These look good good! Turtles are so delicious, but in brownie form? YEs, please!

  3. Oh my! I’d be tempted to eat the eat whole pan!

  4. Yummy! I love anything chocolate and caramel. These look great & I’m sure they smell amazing.

  5. I always think of you and your mom when I see turtle desserts! These look incredible!!!

  6. That caramel smothered in all of that luscious chocolate just looks heavenly, Dorothy! Pinning. 🙂

  7. aw what a sweet story about your mom and your “long lost” turtle 😛 heheheheeee

    I love turtles too! These brownies….chocolatey….delish pecans….and mmmm caramel….*le sigh* perfection*

  8. These look SO DECADENT Dorothy!!!

  9. Love the story about the mysterious turtle 🙂 I also love turtle food anything… I could eat everyone of these….

  10. Oh my this looks soooooooo good! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Ooh yum I could live on these too, no problem 😉

  12. You have been rccking the brownies lately! That caramel sounds incredible, especially with your fudgy brownie base. Haha, it is funny the random memories we have with food. I always think of certain books I was reading when I eat a certain snack; weird, I know!

  13. These brownies have everything I love. They look fabulously delicious! I wish I could bite into one right now. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Ah turtle is my weakness!! These look incredible and I bet taste even better. Sounds like the perfect Valentines Day treat.. 🙂

  15. That’s such a wonderful story about your mom and so sweet that you made these brownies to celebrate her birthday – she will absolutely love them! They look absolutely incredible! I love Turtles 🙂

  16. Loving this recipe- turtle chocolates are my favorite dessert, and in a brownie? Even better!!

  17. Be still my choco-lovin’ heart! These turtle brownies are DIVINE, Dorothy!

  18. These look so amazing…….I think I need them on MY birthday, too!…..which is also Saturday! Awesome! Tell your mom that the 15th is also Susan B. Anthony’s birthday! We’re in good company! :o)

  19. Oh, WOW, I can’t wait. Thanks, Kiddo. And thanks for the trip down memory lane!
    xoxo, Mom

  20. Aww Dorothy, you’re just the sweetest!! That has to be hard for your mom to have a birthday right after Valentine’s Day, but you created the most decadent treat to make it all better! Fudgy underdone brownies are the best, and I always claim the 4 fudgiest ones in the center. No one else can have them! 😉 That’s a really touching story about Mr. Turtle, and I can just picture you racing around the house searching for him. At least you have a beautiful dog now who won’t “run away!” 🙂

  21. YUMMMM!!! I love turtle anything!! THANK YOU!! I love ur sweet turtle story. Brought back memories of my daughter finding a baby turtle on a field trip. She kept it in her pocket and brought it home. Rudy lived with us for 2 yrs.
    From one Dorothy to another Dorothy 🙂

  22. Oh my! These look to DIE for!! 🙂

  23. Wow, these look insane!! Happy birthday to your mom!

  24. Your mom is a lucky girl! What an awesome birthday gift! My birthday is in July, I’ll expect some in my freezer too!

  25. Jazzed up brownies are the best kind. Love that you put some on top too.

  26. Happy Birthday to your mom! What a sweet story of you and your mom and your lil turtle. I’ve never heard or had turtle candies. I am so missing out and need to Google them this sec? I feel like I need to get on the bandwagon. Any who these look amazing! Totally need to make them for my dad’s bday! Thanks Dorothy!

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  28. These brownies look beyond delicious. I would have a really hard time keeping them in the freezer, especially over a weekend, but your Mom totally deserves these. Yum!

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  30. Oh YUM!! I LOVE Turtles!!!

  31. There are calling me from the screen to go home, make them, and eat the whole pan!

  32. Oh, boy! That caramel is totally calling my name today. I adore under cooked brownies…no crumbly ones here! Happy Birthday to your mom. She is going to love these!!!

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  35. Where does the salt go? Directions don’t say.

  36. Hi! These look amazing! I was wondering how long these can be kept in the freezer for? And what the procedure would be to thaw them? Also should I double the recipe if I want to make them in a 9*13 pan? Does that affect the baking time?

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