Turtle Cookie Bars

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Traditional turtle cookies are given a salty facelift in these addicting bar cookies. 

Turtle Cookie Bars

Crunchy chocolate turtle cookie bars are a must-have around the holidays. #cookies #christmascookies #cookieswap

It wasn’t until very recently that I realized that Christmas in July was an actual thing that people do. I knew that Hallmark Channel does their annual Christmas in July programming with movies like The Mistletoe Promise, A Bride For Christmas, and so on. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have on occasion plopped myself on the couch with a tub of ice cream and been sucked into several hours of cheesy Christmas programming. 🎄I’m actually watching one of those movies right now… well, maybe not watching, but listening to the embarrassing dialog those poor actors had to deliver with gumption.   

It never really dawned on me that some people actually celebrate Christmas in July. Then I noticed a trend of incoming traffic landing here after searching for Christmas recipes. Christmas in July is real ya’ll. It’s not just something that happens in the southern hemisphere, as most of my Christmas in July traffic is coming from North America. I personally don’t know anyone who celebrates Christmas in July, but I’m thinking it’s more commonly celebrated that I originally thought. 

I have so many questions about celebrating Christmas in July. Do people setup their faux trees and leave them up for the entire month of July? When do they open presents? July 25th? Why is it celebrated in July and not June, which is technically the halfway point in the year.

Crunchy turtle cookie bars are a must-have around the holidays.

With six days left in July, I am sharing this delicious recipe for turtle cookie bars, a must-have for any cookie swap or Christmas festivity, whether it’s July or December. This was another one of my mother-in-law’s recipes; a recipe that her friends started asking for about a month after she passed away. With a shortbread crust, chewy caramel-pecan filling, and a crunchy later of chocolate, they’re even a favorite of people who don’t like cookies with nuts in them. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Last Christmas, I really didn’t do a whole bunch of baking since my father and I spent Christmas in New York City. I cannot tell you how many text messages I received from friends and family asking me when my annual holiday cookie tins would be dropped off. I seem to always use the same handful of types recipes for my tins:

  • shortbread
  • meringue’s
  • bar cookies
  • biscotti
  • gingerbread (or other spice cookies)
  • sugar cookies
Crunchy turtle cookie bars are a must-have around the holidays.

These turtle bars have been a mainstay in my cookie tins for the last five years. I’ve changed the original recipe, just slightly, by adding a sprinkling of flaky sea salt over the chocolate topping. I just love the way the saltiness makes the bittersweet chocolate layer a little less bitter and the caramel-pecan filling a little less sweet. 

Check out my cookie and wine pairing tips for a cookie swap party. 

Crunchy turtle cookie bars are a must-have around the holidays. | insolenceandwine.com