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Homemade Chocolate Turtles — Fast, easy, no-bake and just 4 ingredients! Chewy, gooey, salty-and-sweet! Homemade always tastes better! Yum!!
Caramel Pecan Turtle Recipe
I’ve always loved Turtles and decided to make my own. Everything tastes better when it’s homemade, even Turtles.
Lately I can’t get enough of the pecan-caramel-chocolate combination. Crunchy, chewy, salty-and-sweet.
I first made Turtles in 2009. Holy antique photography but I don’t delete old posts because they remind me how far I’ve come and how far my daughter has come. She was in cloth diapers then and now she’s in glittery lip gloss.
These homemade turtles are no-bake, easy, ready in under a half hour, and you only need 4 ingredients.
Some Turtles in the photos below are coated with milk chocolate and others with dark. On some, I sprinkled sea salt to play up the salty-and-sweet aspect. On some I drizzled milk chocolate over a dark chocolate-coated Turtle and vice versa.
Between the salty-and-sweet component, the crunchy pecans, chewy and gooey caramel, and the rich chocolate, they’re hard to resist. Save the recipe for holiday candy-making, birthdays, or for a last-minute hostess gift.
Or just hoard them all for yourself.
What’s in Chocolate Turtles?
To make these easy pecan turtles, you’ll need:
- Pecan halves
- Caramel squares
- Cream or half and half
- Sea salt (optional)
How to Make Chocolate Turtles
I used Trader Joe’s roasted, salted pecan halves. Make piles of about 5 pecans each and top each pile with caramel sauce.
I melted 25 caramel squares with 1/4 cup cream in the microwave (or use the stove). Take your time and stop and stir frequently so you don’t burn the mixture and have to start over. The caramel sauce is runny and loose when you first take it out of the microwave, but firms up quite a bit as it cools.
After topping each pecan pile with caramel, cover with melted chocolate. I used Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Bars because they melt smoother and easier than chocolate chips.
Can I Use Another Type of Nut?
Yes, but caramel turtles are traditionally made with pecan halves. However, roasted peanuts or almonds would also taste delicious here!
What Type of Caramels Should I Use?
You want to buy soft, individually wrapped caramel candies (not hard caramels). I’ve made the chocolate turtles recipe with both Kraft brand caramels and Werther’s Baking Caramels and can recommend both.
Tips for Making Homemade Turtles Candy
When making the pecan piles, I recommend overlapping some of the nuts so that the caramel doesn’t ooze straight through.
Melting the caramel can be tricky, so I’ve given very detailed tips on how to melt it in the recipe card below.
You’ll want to chop up chocolate bars for this recipe rather than use chocolate chips. Chocolate chips don’t melt as well and can seize up in the microwave.
- 8 ounces pecan halves (I used roasted, lightly salted)
- 25 caramel squares, unwrapped (about 1 heaping cup)
- 1/4 cup cream or half-and-half, divided
- about 16 ounces roughly chopped chocolate, melted (I used 8 ounces dark and 8 ounces milk, both Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bars)
- sea salt, optional for sprinkling
- Line two baking sheets or large platters with parchment paper. It’s helpful if they will fit in either fridge or freezer.
- Make small piles of pecans, using 5 to 6 pieces per pile. Overlap the pecans some to reduce gaps so the caramel doesn’t seep through.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the caramels, half of the cream (reserve the remainder), and heat on high power to melt. It will probably take about 3 to 4 minutes total, but you must stop and stir the mixture every 30 seconds so you don’t burn it. Alternatively, you can melt caramels on the stove over low heat, using caution and stirring frequently. **(see notes below on melting the caramels)
- Add about 1 tablespoon caramel to the top of each pecan pile; set aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add 8 ounces chocolate and heat to melt, about 1 minute on high power. Heat in 15-second increments until chocolate can be stirred smooth. I prefer working in smaller batches with chocolate and recommend doing the same and not heating all 16 ounces at once; melt additional chocolate as necessary.
- Add about 2 tablespoons chocolate to the top of each pecan cluster by dolloping it on top and letting it fall down the sides.
- Optionally add a pinch of sea salt to each Turtle.
- Allow Turtles to firm up at room temp (will take many hours) or in the fridge or freezer (about 15 minutes) before serving.
**Notes on melting the caramel: The first few times, stirring is almost futile but eventually the caramels soften enough to be stirred smooth. Take your time, don’t overheat or heat too quickly, and keep stirring; it will come together. If the mixture seems thick and needs more cream, add the remaining amount. I used 1/4 cup total and have made the recipe with both Kraft brand caramels and Werther’s Baking Caramels, but caramels vary and you may need less cream than I did. The caramel is runny and loose when it first comes together, but firms up quite a bit as it cools.
Storage: Turtles will keep airtight at room temperature for weeks, or in the fridge or freezer for many months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 308Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g
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