Gluten Free Turtle Cookies


I’ve been starting to think about Christmas baking (less than 50 days until Christmas) and what cookies I would like to bake this year. These soft Gluten Free Turtle cookies, filled with caramel, topped with chopped pecans, and drizzled with chocolate will definitely be on my cookie platters this year. Not only do they taste amazing, but they are also really pretty. I’m sure that any cookies that have caramel, pecans, and chocolate will be the first to go from the cookie trays this holiday season.


Gluten-free Turtle Cookies
Serves: 72
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 2/3 cup potato starch
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, but good)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 30 squares of caramel, unwrapped (about 8 ounces)
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugars until light yellow in colour and fluffy. Slowly add the melted chocolate, oil, and vanilla.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the flours, starches, baking powder, xanthan gum, espresso powder, and salt until combined.
  4. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until totally combined.
  5. Scoop 2 teaspoons of dough on your baking sheet, leaving 2-inches between cookies to allow for them to expand while baking. Dampen your hands with a small amount of water and roll the scooped dough into a smooth ball. This will give your finished cookies a nice round shape.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and immediately use the handle of a wooden spoon to form an indent in the middle of the cookie. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack.
  8. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, combine the unwrapped caramels and heavy cream. Heat on low power (60%) in 30 second intervals, stirring frequently, until the caramel has completely melted.
  9. Carefully spoon melted caramel into the indent on the baked cookies and sprinkle with finely chopped pecans. Allow caramel to cool before moving the cookies.
  10. Once all of the cookies are baked, place them on a cooling rack that has been placed over waxed paper. Place melted chocolate into a resealable plastic bag. Snip a tiny hole in one corner, and drizzle the melted chocolate in a zig-zag pattern over the cookies. Allow cookies to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container. Do not stack the cookies, as the caramel may cause the cookies to stick together.
To bake the cookies ahead of time for your Christmas trays, follow steps 1-7. Once cookies are completely cooled, store in an air-tight container before freezing. Remove cookies from the freezer. Once they have defrosted, continue with steps 8-10.


This recipe was created in hopes of winning a trip from Manitoba Canola Growers to Food Bloggers of Canada Conference 2013, which is hosted by Food Bloggers of Canada. This type of opportunity hasn’t been available to Canadian food bloggers before, but I think it would be a great chance for me to grow and learn as a blogger. *Fingers crossed!*

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17 Responses to Gluten Free Turtle Cookies

  1. Betty November 8, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    What can I say..these cookies were amazing, thank you Jeanine. Oh my.. the caramel, pecans and chocolate, what a delicious combination.
    Gather your ingredients and start baking! You won’t be sorry!

    • Jeanine November 8, 2012 at 11:36 am #

      Thanks so much, Betty!! Did John ever get a taste? 😉 I should have sent him his own to try! :)

  2. Becky November 8, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    OMG. I’m going out to the store today to find me some caramels and heavy cream! Have I ever mentioned how much I love you and your blog?… I think most my family now knows when I talk about ‘Jeanine’s recipe, this ______, or Jeanine posted that _____”, that I’m talking about you, and your blog… Just thought I’d share that, your name has become an every day, household name down in Southern California!

    • Jeanine November 8, 2012 at 11:37 am #

      Thanks, Becky! I’m honoured to be included in your family’s everyday. :) How special. Love it! :) Enjoy the cookies, they are really, really good (as I eat one between typing). 😉

  3. Jenn November 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Wow! These look amazing and I bet they tasted even better. Thanks for sharing them in the #mycookiesarethebest contest! Best of luck!

  4. Michelle November 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Hi Jeanine,
    These look delish, and I can’t wait to try them. Do you think they would work well as bars, i.e., baked in a 9×13 pan instead of as cookies? Would you double the baking time?


  5. sally November 11, 2012 at 4:40 am #

    These look delicious. I’m making caramel now too, but its for a pie. Now I’m reconsidering! 😀

  6. Kim December 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    What brand of caramels do you use that are GF? And what is espresso powder? Is it just the regular espresso,or is it an instant product? They look so amazing and I’d really like to make them for our Christmas goodies.

    • Jeanine December 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

      I’m in Canada and used Mackintosh’s Mack Toffee
      However, Kraft caramels are also gluten-free, Kraft is very open with their labeling, if it has wheat, rye or barley in it, it’ll be labeled. :)
      Espresso powder is optional, but just makes the chocolate taste a bit better. 😉 You can easily make these cookies without though. Espresso powder is for making instant espressos, it’s by the instant coffee in the store.
      Happy Baking!

      • Kim December 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

        I’m in Canada too (Victoria), so that’s great, thanks.

  7. Elise May 22, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    Amazing!!!! I made these yesterday and they are soooo good!!! I accidentally filled the cookies too much with caramel, but they are just extra caramel-y! Thanks for posting this recipe!

    • Jeanine Friesen May 23, 2013 at 7:00 am #

      Ah, so glad to hear that you liked them, Elise! Ah, a little extra caramel never hurt anyone, right? 😉

  8. lindsay May 31, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    hi jeanine, i plan on baking these tommorrow! i am also gluten intolerant and ive already tried a few of your recipes, such as the devils good cake/mocha frosting. it was the best thing ive ever tasted. i love your cinnamon rolls too! they are so tasty.
    anyways i just wanted to inform you that whenever i want a recipe on something, i go to your website! you have great recipes! thanks for sharing!

    • Jeanine Friesen May 31, 2013 at 6:15 am #

      Hi Lindsay! Thank you very much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it. I’m glad to help people have GOOD tasting food, even if it is without gluten. :) I hope you enjoy the cookies! Thanks again! 😀


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