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Sea Salt Pecan Turtles

by elyn_ryn

This recipe for chocolate pecan turtles is easy to make. The turtles taste like they are from a confections shop! There are a couple of tricks that make them delicious that I will share with you.

Toast the Pecans

Toast the pecans rather than using raw pecan halves. Toasting them brings out the pecan flavor and makes them more crispy and crunchy. For this recipe, I recommend toasting them in the oven and turning them over after half the time. How do you know which ones you have turned? One trick is to place all the pecans facing either upwards or downwards. Then after half the cooking time, turn the pecans the other way. If one hasn’t been turned, you will see it. In the above photo, I am in the process of turning the pecans so the “bottom” or flat side can toast.

Use a Silicone Mat or Parchment Paper

The caramel in these turtles is very sticky, so always use a silicone mat or parchment paper to prevent sticking. I prefer a silicone mat but parchment paper also works well.

Shape the Pecans Like a Turtle

Use five pecans to make a turtle shape. Point the “head” upward and then add the legs. When I was young, I always thought this candy looked like a turtle and assumed it was the reason it got its name. Today, many people don’t connect the shape of this candy with the name. This is because turtles are also made in round circles with chopped nuts. Personally, I like the traditional turtle shape. To give the turtles the best form, try to use the same sized pecans for each one.

Heat the Caramel

This recipe is easy because it uses caramel cubes. You can count them or weigh them to get the correct amount. A secret to the great taste of these turtles is the caramel because it has cream in it. The cream makes the caramel softer so that it is easier to bite. It also gives the caramel a delicious flavor!

Spoon the Caramel Over the Pecans

Evenly divide the caramel between the pecans (eyeball it). Spoon it into the middle of the pecans, where they all meet. If you have some caramel left over, go back over the pecans, spooning the leftover caramel on top of those with the least amount on them. Then harden the caramel by placing the baking sheet into the refrigerator for five to ten minutes.

Add the Chocolate Topping

Using the microwave method outlined in the recipe, melt the chocolate with a small amount of shortening. The shortening will help make the chocolate smooth, consistent, and easy to work with. Place a spoonful of melted chocolate on top of the set caramel. Then use the back of the spoon to make a swirling pattern on top of the chocolate. While the chocolate is still melted, sprinkle a little coarse ground sea salt on each turtle. Let the chocolate sit until it hardens.

Storage

Store the turtles in an airtight container, placing parchment paper between each piece and on the bottom of the container. This will keep them from sticking together. Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Sea Salt Pecan Turtles
Chocolate turtle candy with pecan halves, caramel, chocolate, and sea salt
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3.5 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3.5 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake pecan halves for about 7 minutes. Turn them after 4 minutes.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick silicone mats. Using five pecan halves, arrange the pecans (on the baking sheets) in turtle shapes - a head and 4 legs.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and cream. Heat on high for 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval until smooth. It will take about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes total to melt the caramels.
  4. Place a spoonful of the melted caramel onto each pecan turtle, using a spoon to spread it over the pecans. If you have any leftover caramel, go back and place more onto the pecans until you use it all.
  5. Refrigerate the caramels until they harden, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. In a clean microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate wafers and shortening at half power for 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval.
  7. Add a spoonful of chocolate to each turtle. Use the back of the spoon to spread the chocolate so that it covers most of the turtles. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  8. Let the turtles sit until they harden. Store the turtles in an airtight container at room temperature with parchment paper between each turtle to prevent sticking.
Recipe Notes

Optional

You can dip each turtle into chocolate to cover the entire turtle.  They will not stick together as easily coated entirely in chocolate.  Use 2 cups of chocolate chips and 1 1/2 teaspoons of shortening.  Chill the caramel layer until it is hardened before dipping it into the melted chocolate.

Troubleshooting

Sometimes after chocolate hardens and sits for a while, it will develop white spots that will become more pronounced over time. These spots are harmless and indicate that the chocolate has sugar or fat bloom. Usually, it is caused by cocoa butter crystals separating and rising to the top of the chocolate after it is heated. Remember, sugar or fat bloom is harmless but can't be fixed after making the turtles. Heat the chocolate slowly to help avoid white spots. Also, refer to any instructions on the back of the chocolate bag for heating chocolate in the microwave.

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