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Cook’s notes: You can make as few or as many of these treats as you wish; just match the number of pretzels and pecans to the number of Rolo chocolate-covered caramels you have. Each turtle cookie comprises 1 waffle pretzel, 1 caramel-filled chocolate, and 1 pecan half (or toasted almond or M&M). A standard cookie sheet can 63 to 72 pretzels per sheet.
Yield: 128 turtle cookies.
15 oz bag waffle pretzels (square grid); you will use about half the bag
16 rolls (128 pieces) Rolo brand chocolate-covered caramels
16 oz bag pecan halves; you will have leftovers
Heat oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed cookie sheets with foil. Lay out rows of waffle pretzels on each cookie sheet (one pretzel per Rolo you have on hand).
Unwrap the chocolate-covered caramels, and center one on each pretzel. Bake for a scant 3 minutes, until the chocolate softens (it glistens a little). Be careful not to cook these too long. Pull the cookie sheet out of the oven.
Working quickly before the chocolate cools, press one pecan half into each caramel. Squish them down, so the pecan is firmly in place and the caramel is pushed down. Let turtles cool on the racks, and then store them in an airtight container. If you need to, you can set the chocolate in the refrigerator.
Small-Batch Microwave Method
Place 15 waffle pretzels on a microwave-safe plate. Top each pretzel with an unwrapped caramel-filled Hershey’s Kiss. Microwave on High for 20 seconds. Follow directions above to top each with a pecan half. Yield: 15.
Left: Ingredients for a batch. Center: Treats before baking. Right: After assembly (this batch has toasted almonds and Dark Chocolate M&M’s instead of pecan halves.)
Updated 11/20/2008: I recently made these again with almonds (see photos). A 12-oz bag of Rolo’s contained 58 pieces. Buy two bags to make a full cookie sheet. We fit 8 rows of 9 on the cookie sheet (yield: 72). We topped the remaining pretzels with caramel-filled Hershey kisses. Since this is the most popular post on this site (5000+ hits!), I have added some photos to help you.
Cook’s Notes (11/11/2007): This was first posted as “Rollo Pretzel Cookies,” but the spelling of the brand-name candy has been corrected. Our friends T and L, who gave us this recipe, plan to serve these turtles as part of the Thanksgiving feast. I made these recently for my co-workers, and they were quite popular. These salty and sweet treats are a nice variation on the Christmas confection made with small pretzels, Hershey’s kisses, and M&M’s.