These Homemade Turtles (caramel, pecan, and chocolate clusters) are a timeless classic for the chocolate box.
Spent the first 19 years of my life as a pecan hater. No, really I did.
Then at my first meeting of the in-laws, my husbands grandpa busted out a huge variety of pecans that he had harvested. Having already offended his grandma by not eating her breakfast sausage, I dug right into his sweet gift. Man, were they delicious.
So here I am 9 years later, a huge pecan lover, especially when in the form of turtles. Who can resist that combination of pecan, soft caramel, and of course, a little chocolate to top ’em off? Store-bought turtles often seem to disappoint me though. So I spent the last eight Christmas seasons trying to recreate my first Christmas as a pecan lover.
First, this recipe is hands down my favorite when I use my soft homemade caramels, slightly undercooking them to keep the caramel extra soft and smooth. Complete the combo with perfectly nutty toasted pecans, and dark chocolate. If you don’t dare make the homemade caramel, or are in a time crunch, melt your caramels with a little cream to soften them up.
Homemade Turtles (Caramel, Pecan, and Chocolate Clusters)
- 1 batch homemade soft caramels cooked to 4 degrees less than called for in the recipe, or 24 store bought caramels
- 100 pecan halves toasted
- 1 to 2 bags dark chocolate chips 10.5 ounce bags
- Fleur de sel optional
If using store bought caramels that are not super soft, melt with 2-4 tablespoons of heavy cream in the microwave.
Cool until you can roll into balls.
Place the tips of four toasted pecans together so they make a square with their inner tips, creating the "legs".
Squish a 2 teaspoon-sized caramel ball on top to connect all four pecans.
Place pecan/caramel cluster in freezer for about 15 minutes.
Melt chocolate over double-boiler, or on half temperature in microwave until smooth.
Pick up caramel/pecan cluster, drizzle chocolate on bottom, and flip back over onto frozen pan. Drizzle chocolate on top to cover the other side of caramel.
Repeat until the other clusters have chocolate on top and bottom.
Sprinkle with fleur de sel if desired.
Let sit until chocolate sets.
Look at this hunk of caramel just calling your name……
Drooling……(and the chocolate’s not even on there yet!)
Pecan lover? You’ll want to check out these other sweet treat pecan recipes: