Chocolate Covered Caramel Pecan Turtles – They Are Gonna Go FAST!
Do you have a favorite candy? One that is almost impossible for you to resist? For me, it’s the combination of chocolate, caramel & pecans. (And marshmallow. Hmmm – I’m getting some ideas). Maybe next time.
Anyway … as I was saying, Chocolate Covered Caramel Pecan Turtles are one of my all-time favorite treats. And they’re sorta shaped like the slow-moving reptile that they’re named after. What’s not to love??
I would do a lot for a turtle. I’ve been known to get out of the car and help a grumpy old snapper across the road more than a time or two. And I have slaved away with my mother-in-law in her kitchen into the wee hours of the night perfecting batch after batch of the edible sort.(Alright, technically both types are edible. I’m speaking of the “un-dead because they were never living” variety).
Every December, my “other mother” and I would make an assortment of Christmas cookies and candies to gift our friends and neighbors. The only treat that was consistently in the rotation, without fail, were Nana’s Turtles.
The mail carrier, the bus driver, teachers, family, co-workers – EVERYBODY looked forward to their turtle delivery. (And boy were they disappointed when they got on the naughty list. You don’t get turtles on that list).
We still make turtles at Christmas, but the tradition has changed. Nana makes her perfect turtles in her Michigan kitchen, and I create their less attractive, long-lost relatives in my Colorado mountain home.
Her chocolate is glossy and her little pecan legs are always uniform. (C’mon, you know I don’t mean that her legs are made of nuts!) And my turtles? Well, that’s the good thing about Chocolate Covered Caramel Pecan Turtles – they disappear so fast, you barely have time to consider whether they actually look anything like their namesake.
And you know what? They’re pretty delicious in Easter baskets too. And for Valentine gifts. As a PMS remedy. Random Tuesday treats…
- 2 Sticks Butter
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 Can Condensed Milk (not low-fat)
- 1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 3 Cups Pecan Halves
- 1 1/2 Pounds Chocolate (dark or milk)
Generously grease 9"x 12" glass pan; set aside.
Melt butter in heavy metal pan, then add sugar, condensed milk and corn syrup.
Continuously stir over low heat, scraping sides of pan often, until caramel reaches 240º (soft ball stage). [See notes on altitude adjustments].
After caramel reaches temperature, remove from heat source immediately and quickly stir in the vanilla. (The alcohol in the real vanilla stops the cooking process).
Whisk the caramel a minute or two before pouring it into the greased glass pan.
Let cool a couple hours before cutting caramel into strips and then squares.
*Do not put saran wrap or anything on it while it is still warm...it will cause condensation on top of the caramel. It's normal for a little of the grease from the pan to come up to the top. After it's completely cool and if you're not going to use it that day, THEN you can cover it with saran wrap to keep it from drying out.
Lay down 2 or 3 sheets of wax paper to use for creating your turtles.
Lightly toast pecans in dry skillet - just until aroma is released.
Using the sticky side of the caramel squares, lay your pecan halves in **3's on top of your caramel square and press down. (**One horizontal on top of square and two vertical under the top one)
You want the caramel to stay thick and rounded, so don't press too hard. If your pecans fall off, try the other side of the square.
Round off the square edges with your fingers, then place turtles pecan side down on wax paper.
Swirl your chocolate on top to cover completely. Right after they are coated, put them in fridge or in a cool place for approx. 10 minutes. The cooling helps make them shiny and hardens the chocolate.
Melt chocolate over double boiler and make sure no steam or moisture gets in chocolate as it will "seize" up. Also, make sure chocolate stays liquid as it will get white streaks if it cools too much while coating the turtles.
Enjoy (and try to share)!