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Turtle Bars

These Turtle Bars are a must make for the holidays, or any time of year! A buttery shortbread crust with a homemade caramel filling, nutty pecans and a milk chocolate topping creates these mouthwatering bars!
Prep Time3 hours
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time3 hours 20 minutes
Course: Bars, Candy, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Dessert
Servings: 24 bars


For the Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • cups roughly chopped pecans

For the Caramel & Topping:

  • cups unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups milk OR semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350° degrees F. Line a 13x9" light metal rectangular baking pan with foil or parchment paper, extending the sides of the foil or parchment over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil or parchment with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl for the crust ingredients, combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter and beat at medium speed with a handheld electric mixer for about 1-2 minutes or until mixture is crumbly and butter is mostly incorporated into small pebbles. Press the crust mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the crust. Set aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, combine the 1¼ cups butter and remaining 1 cup brown sugar. Cook and stir until mixture is bubbly and comes to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract quickly but carefully as mixture is VERY hot. Immediately pour the caramel mixture over the pecan layer in the pan.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the entire surface is bubbly and golden brown. Remove from the oven and wait 1-2 minutes, then sprinkle the entire surface evenly with the chocolate chips. Allow the chocolate chips to set for a minute or two, then use an offset spatula to smooth the now melted chocolate chips around into an even layer to cover the caramel layer.
  • Allow chocolate to set and bars to cool and firm, about 3 hours, before cutting into squares.


You want to make sure you whisk your butter and brown sugar (caramel mixture) well to incorporate the butter, or you may have some butter seepage from your bars. This is normal and totally fine; it just may make your bars a little greasy. The key is to whisk it well while being mindful of it being super hot.