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Close up of caramel dripping from chocolate turtle.
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5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Turtle Pecan Clusters

Prep Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Servings: 30 Candies
Calories: 131kcal
Author: Deanna

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Pecan halves about 3 cups
  • 12 oz Soft caramels Kraft caramel squares or Milk caramels (about 55)
  • 4 Tbsp Heavy cream
  • 8 oz Chocolate chips milk, dark or semi-sweet
  • 2 tsp Vegetable shortening
  • 1-2 tsp Coarse sea salt optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes stirring half way through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • With a sharp knife, roughly chop the pecans reserving some halves to top the turtles.  No need to be precise with the chopping, we are just looking for small pieces.
  • On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner, make little piles of chopped pecans (about 1 tablespoon each).
  • Place the caramels and cream in a large, microwave safe bowl or the top of a simmering double boiler.  Stir the caramels with the cream until they are melted and smooth.  If using a microwave, use 20 second intervals and stir between each interval.
  • While the caramel is warm, pour 1 tablespoon of caramel over each pecan pile.
  • Place the tray in the freezer for a few minutes to set the caramel while you melt the chocolate.
  • Place the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl or top of a simmering double boiler and heat until melted and smooth.  If using a microwave, use 10 second intervals stirring between each interval.
  • Remove the turtles from the freezer and drizzle chocolate over each caramel cluster.
  • Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle with sea salt or press a pecan half on the top.
  • Place the turtles in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set, then move to an airtight container for storage.  Be sure to separate each layer of turtles with wax or parchment paper.

Notes

If you don't have room to put the tray of turtles in the freezer between steps you can let them set on the counter, however the freezer reduces the time between steps considerably.   How long they take to set at room temperature will depend on the warmth of your home.
If you live in a cold climate you can also cover and set on the porch for a few minutes. 
Notes about melting the caramel: As the caramels warm, stir them occasionally (or between each microwave interval).  You will begin to notice the cream starts changing color as the caramels start to melt.  Keep stirring. Eventually the caramels will start to come together in a big sticky ball.  As you continue to heat and stir you will notice that the ball starts to separate and get stringy, this is when you know they are almost done.  Keep stirring until the caramel has completely melted and is smooth and creamy. 

Nutrition

Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg