Homemade brownies topped with gooey caramel, chocolate chips and pecans. Turtle Brownies are a decadent dessert the whole family will love!
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Why this Recipe is the Best
I mean, there’s chocolate in some form.
But too often, the chocolatiness of it all is overtaken by the caramel or the pecans. Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL ABOUT caramel and pecans on my chocolate desserts. I just also want to TASTE the chocolate!
Enter: this recipe.
This recipe uses cocoa powder AND semi-sweet chocolate chips in the brownies. It’s based off my favorite brownie recipe!
The result is a Turtle Brownie where the rich, complex flavors of chocolate exist in harmony with the sweet caramel and nutty pecans. In short, this is the very best Turtle Brownie recipe you will ever make.
You can thank me later.
- Chocolate – You’ll need semi-seet chocolate chips as well as unsweetened cocoa powder in this brownie recipe. I choose Ghirardelli for both!
- Eggs. This recipe calls for FOUR eggs. THAT is how you achieve gooey brownies with a chewy center and crispy crust. And they puff up to a thick, chewy treat.
- Pecans – Nut pieces are baked right into the batter to give them an irresistible crunch in every bite. Toast the pecans for best flavor.
- Caramel bits – The Kraft baking bits are my pick for topping turtle brownies. Larger caramel candies can work too, if you unwrap them first and chop them into small pieces. You can also use your own caramel sauce if you prefer.
- Baking powder- while most brownie recipes don’t include a leavener, we love how it helps these thick and chewy brownies get a little lift WITHOUT making them cake-like in texture.
Step by Step Instructions
STEP 1. Make the brownie batter
In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter then remove from heat.
Add chocolate chips and sugar, stirring until melted and well blended.
Add in dry ingredients JUST until blended, being careful not to overmix.
Fold in the chopped pecans.
STEP 2. Add toppings
Pour the batter into a square baking dish lined with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, melt caramel bits with cream. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over brownie batter, using a knife to swirl. Add additional pecans and chocolate chips on top.
STEP 3. BAKE
Bake for 35-40 minutes.
STEP 4. Cool.
Remove the baked brownies from the oven and cool completely before slicing.
Tips and Tricks
- For a “cleaner” look, cut the brownies into bars or triangles while they’re still cold. A plastic knife works like a charm for evenly and cleanly cutting cooled brownies.
- LINE your baking dish with parchment paper (or foil). Not only does it make clean up easier, but you can just lift your fudgy brownies out of the pan and cut them!
- DO NOT OVER STIR. When you add in the dry ingredients, use slow but big stirs to incorporate the dry into the wet. Just when you see no more dry, STOP STIRRING!
- Want to eat them sooner? Chill them in the refrigerator so they are easier to cut. Want to make a brownie ice cream sundae? Eat them warm with homemade vanilla ice cream!
- Store these Turtle Brownies for up to one week in an airtight container in the fridge. I think they taste best cold, but you can also enjoy them at room temperature.
- Love Pecans? If you love pecans with brownies you’ll have to give our pecan pie brownies a try next. So good!
Of course. If you’re looking for a delicious, chocolate brownie without the turtle garnishes, feel free to make these as a regular pecan brownies!
I use a 9-inch square baking dish, then cut these into squares. A 9 x 13 inch dish will work too, but the brownies will be thinner.
This recipe yields about 16 brownies. Feel free to cut them into smaller pieces to serve a crowd if desired.
Making thick and fudgy brownies is my specialty (well, in addition to making the perfect rice krispie treat recipe)!
Here are a few of our favorite flavors!
- Walnut Brownies– fudgy with nutty bites of walnuts. Could swap for pecans too!
- Oreo Brownies– thick brownies with chunks of Oreo Cookies…the perfect combo!
- Chocolate Mint Brownies– brownies topped with mint buttercream and chocolate ganache!
- M&M Brownies– the classic brownie recipe with candy pieces! Try it with Reese’s Pieces too!
- Peanut Butter Brownies– swirls of peanut butter in thick, fudgy brownies.
- Caramel Brownies– gooey swirls of caramel sauce in rich brownies. A delicious dessert!
- Cheesecake Brownies– with swirls of cream cheese in our classic fudgy brownie recipe.
For the brownies:
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup pecans chopped
For the topping:
- 11 ounce caramel bits
- ¼ heavy cream
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- ½ cup semi-sweet morsels
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and add in chocolate chips and sugar.
- Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add in eggs, one at a time, stirring completely after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
- Add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. Using big strokes, stir in JUST until mixed and no longer see dry ingredients. DO NOT BEAT OR OVER STIR. Gently fold in pecans.
- Pour batter into dish.
- In a small glass microwave safe bowl, add caramel bits with heavy whipping cream. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each set, until smooth. Drizzle melted caramel over brownies, using a knife to swirl into the batter. Top with additional pecans and chocolate chips.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, allowing to cool COMPLETELY before cutting.
Turtle Brownies take a a delicious dessert (brownies) and make them even better by adding caramel and pecans! No one can resist this delicious and indulgent dessert filled with chocolate and nuts.