Ritz Turtles are a fun and easy no-bake treat, made with only 6 ingredients. Great for the holidays or absolutely anytime, these Ritz cracker caramel cookies are sweet, salty, crunchy, and chewy in every single bite!
Easy Ritz Cracker Caramel Cookies
These Ritz Turtles are so fun to make – and so good to eat! With Ritz crackers at the base (so excellently buttery, salty, and crisp!), plus chewy caramel, sweet chocolate, and crunchy pecans, what’s not to love?
One of my favorite easy cookie recipes of all time has been chocolate peanut butter Ritz cookies. I’ve been enjoying these cookies since I was a kid, and now my husband and daughters are also onboard. So this chocolate Ritz cookie that swaps the PB for caramel…well I knew this was going to be another easy family favorite.
We most often make Ritz cookies for our holiday cookie trays, but they’re such a favored treat that I also make them all through the year as well. And they freeze great, so it’s fun to know that these are in the freezer whenever we’re looking for a quick & easy treat. Just thaw (or eat frozen – my favorite!) and enjoy!
What Are Ritz Turtle Cookies?
Ritz turtle cookies are a play on traditional Turtle candies, which are made with a pecan and caramel dipped in chocolate. Instead of just those 3 ingredients, Ritz turtles have the addition of a buttery Ritz crackers base.
These cookies feature Ritz crackers topped with caramel, then dipped in chocolate, and finished off with crushed pecans and a little sprinkle of flaky sea salt. It’s a simple rendition of a classic treat that’s fantastically fun and delicious!
These caramel Ritz cookies are made with just 6 ingredients. It’s the perfect chocolate-caramel-pecan-salt combo that includes the crunchy texture and buttery flavor of Ritz crackers.
- Caramel squares – I use individually wrapped Kraft caramels.
- Heavy whipping cream – Melt heavy whipping cream with the caramels for a softened, chewy consistency.
- Ritz crackers – The star of this recipe. An off-brand buttery cracker would work as well.
- Chocolate – I use a combination of chocolate almond bark and Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips, for the best melting ability, texture, and flavor.
- Roasted salted pecans – Finely chop half of the nuts, to sprinkle over the melty caramel. Then coarsely chop the remaining nuts, to sprinkle over the chocolate-dipped cookie. I recommend the roasted salted pecans from Trader Joe’s.
- Sea salt flakes – Just a sprinkle of flaky sea salt really takes these cookies to another level. The extra little bite of salt is perfect with the cracker, caramel, chocolate, and nuts!
How to Make Ritz Turtle Cookies
Caramel Ritz cookies are easy to make. Just allow some time to chill the melted caramel before dipping the cookie into melted chocolate.
- Melt the caramel. Microwave the caramel and whipping cream for 30 seconds. Stir vigorously, then microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring between, until completely smooth. Set aside to cool, stirring every few minutes, until thick enough to hold its shape.
- Add caramel to the cracker. Arrange the Ritz crackers in a single layer on parchment paper. Add about 1 teaspoon of caramel to the center of each one, leaving it slightly mounded in the center. Sprinkle with finely chopped pecans.
- Chill. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to set the caramel.
- Melt the chocolate. Microwave the almond bark and chocolate chips for 30 seconds. Stir. Continue microwaving in 15 second intervals, stirring each time, until completely melted and smooth.
- Dip the crackers in chocolate. Use a fork to dip the chilled crackers into the melted chocolate. Allow any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, then return to the cookie sheet.
- Add the nuts. While the chocolate is still melty, sprinkle tops of cookies with chopped pecans and flaky sea salt.
- Let set. Let the cookies rest at room temperature or pop them in the fridge, until they set completely. Enjoy!
Tips & Variations
Here are a few tips for making these caramel Ritz cookies!
- Be careful not to scorch the caramel…or chocolate. When melting both the caramel and the chocolate, it’s important to microwave only in short intervals and to stir vigorously between each one. The goal is to heat the ingredients as minimally as possible, until they’re completely smooth.
- Allow the caramel to set before adding the chocolate. Though it may seem tempting to skip waiting, it’s important that the caramel is fully set before dipping the cracker into the warm chocolate.
- Add the toppings before the chocolate cools. For the chopped pecans and sea salt to stick, add them while the chocolate is still warm.
- Can I use a different type of chocolate? Yes, you can use semi-sweet, bittersweet, or dark chocolate chips. I would not substitute the almond bark for all chocolate chips as the almond bark is ideal for melting and dipping.
- Can I use different nuts? Yes, if pecans aren’t your thing you can also make these Ritz cookies with almonds or walnuts.
- What about sprinkles? Of course! Substitute the pecans for sprinkles of your choosing, to celebrate any holiday or special occasion!
How to Store
Store these caramel Ritz crackers at room temperature or in the fridge, in an airtight container. I recommend parchment paper between layers. On the counter, these will keep best for up to 4 days. In the fridge, they keep well for up to 2 weeks.
You can also freeze Ritz turtles. Freeze in an airtight container, with layers separated by parchment paper, for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter before enjoying. Or eat them frozen – my favorite!!
More Caramel Treats:
- Salted Caramel Ice Cream
- Marshmallow Caramel Rice Krispies Puffs
- Grandma Klein’s Chocolate Caramels
- Caramel Heavenlies
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- 24 individually wrapped Kraft caramel squares, unwrapped
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 36 Ritz crackers
- 8 ounces chocolate almond bark, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup finely chopped roasted salted pecans
- Maldon sea salt flakes
- Place caramel squares and whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir vigorously. Microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring vigorously each time, until caramel mixture is completely smooth. Take care to not let the caramel mixture scorch. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to maintain its smooth texture, until thickened enough to make a mound on top of a Ritz cracker.
- While caramel mixture is cooling, line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Place Ritz crackers on parchment paper, in a single layer.
- Place a small spoonful (about 1 teaspoon) of caramel mixture in the center of each cracker, spreading it out just a bit, but still leaving it slightly mounded in the center. Then sprinkle a bit of finely chopped pecans over the top. Repeat until all crackers have caramel and pecans.
- Place baking sheet in refrigerator for 45 minutes to let caramel fully set.
- Place almond bark and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir vigorously. Microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring vigorously each time, until chocolate mixture is completely smooth. Take care to not let the chocolate mixture scorch.
- Place a chilled cracker with caramel onto the tines of a fork and dip into the melted chocolate. Lift cracker out of chocolate, tapping the fork on the side of the bowl to let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl, and then scraping the bottom of the tines along the side of the bowl. Place chocolate-covered cookie back onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle with coarsely chopped pecans while chocolate is still warm. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes. Repeat with remaining crackers - I usually dip 6 to 8 at a time, then sprinkle with pecans and salt - until they're all done. Let cookies set at room temperature or chill them in the fridge to hasten the set.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge or a freezer-safe container in the freezer, with parchment paper or wax paper to separate any layers.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.