Turtle Cookie Cups

These turtle cookie cups are wonderful little two-bite cookies that mimic turtle tassies. The sugar cookie dough that makes the cup is so yummy, though, that you may never go back!

Here are a few tips before you get started:
* Make sure the butter is at room temperature before you mix up the dough, otherwise it is not soft enough to mix easily.
* Have the caramels unwrapped before you do anything else. Two bags is a lot of candy, and unwrapping them is the most labor-intensive part of the process.
* When all your cups are filled with caramel, clean out the pan while it's still hot. The caramel sets up very quickly, and even hot water won't get it unstuck. (Yes, the voice of experience.)
With that, let's begin!

Ingredients: 
1 bag sugar cookie dough mix
Butter and eggs as directed on the package
24 oz bag of caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cacao)
3/4 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 2 24-cup mini muffin tins with nonstick spray.

2. Mix up cookie dough as directed on the package. Divide dough into 48 individual balls of approximately the same size. Press dough into each muffin cup, pressing your thumb in the middle to create a little well.

3. Bake each muffin tin at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven, use a spoon or small spatula to recreate that well in the dough, and return it to the oven for another 3-4 minutes.

4. While the cookies bake, heat caramels and whipping cream in a sauce pan on medium heat, stirring frequently. Mix until smooth and creamy, then reduce to low heat.

5. After pulling cookie cups out of the oven, immediately fill each cup with 4-5 chocolate chips, spoon on about a tablespoon of caramel and top with a sprinkling of pecans. They need to be hot for everything to melt together, so have everything ready and work quickly. Then enjoy them as soon as they've cooled slightly.

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