Do you love the combination of dark chocolate, chewy caramel, and toasted pecans? It's such a yummy flavor combination! If you're craving a bite of nutty, chocolatey goodness, no worries--you can make up a batch of these easy chocolate turtles to save the day.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients: chocolate chips, soft caramels, pecans, water, and a little salt.
- Toast the pecans at 350 F for 10-12 minutes, until the nuts have darkened slightly and have a nutty aroma.
- Line two 9x13-inch cookie sheets with parchment paper and trace sixteen 3-inch circles on the paper. Use a cookie cutter or glass as a template.
3. Chop the pecans into smaller pieces and arrange in piles on top of the circles. Place a cookie cutter over each pile and swirl it gently to make the edges nice and smooth.
4. Dump the caramels into a saucepan set over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the caramels have melted completely. If the caramel is extremely thick, add a tablespoon or two of water.
5. Pour the caramel over the nuts, leaving a border of nuts around the edge.
6. Pour the chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring frequently until the chocolate has melted. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, then pour it into a plastic sandwich bag and snip off the tip to create a piping bag. Pipe circles of chocolate on top of each turtle, leaving a border of caramel around the edge.
7. Chill the turtles for 10 minutes, then make a decorative swirl on top with an angled spatula. If desired, sprinkle a little flaky salt on top.
8. Chill for another 20 minutes, or until hardened. Serve at room temperature for ease of eating.
They are a cluster of pecans and caramel covered with chocolate.
Turtles are made up of three basic ingredients: chocolate, caramel, and pecans. Many home bakers like to add a sprinkle of salt on top for extra flavor.
The candy gets its name from its shape: it looks somewhat like a turtle. A salesman noticed the resemblance, and the candy was soon marketed as "turtles."
Johnson's Candy Company invented the candy in 1918, and it has been sold ever since.
Leftovers: Store them between layers of parchment or wax paper in an airtight container or cookie tin. If it's really hot and humid, store in the refrigerator.
Freeze: Freeze them in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag. Separate layers of turtles with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, then freeze for 2-3 months. Remove from the packaging before defrosting to prevent excess condensation.
- Speed up the process by using already chopped pecans. Take note that chopped pecans will toast quicker than the halves.
- Remember to unwrap the caramels before you melt them!
- If the caramel begins to harden while you're working with it, place it back on medium heat and stir for a minute to melt.
- Please note that the melted Kraft caramels can be extremely chewy. If you have braces, orthodontic appliances, bridges etc., I'd recommend making a less chewy homemade caramel instead of using the Kraft.
- Feel free to use milk, semi-sweet, or white chocolate instead of dark.
- Save any extra toasted pecans left on the cookie sheet for putting on ice cream.
Other Candy Recipes
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Easy Chocolate Turtles Recipe
- 4 cups chopped pecans
- 18 ounces soft caramels, such as Kraft
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups 60% cacao chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt or margarita salt, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pecans on a small cookie sheet and toast at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, checking them frequently to make sure they aren't burning. Let the pecans cool briefly. (If you're using pecan halves, chop them into smaller pieces.)
- While the nuts are toasting, pour the caramels, milk, and butter into a saucepan and set over medium to medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the caramels are melted and smooth. Add additional milk if the caramel is excessively thick.
- While the caramel is melting, fill a saucepan with a couple inches of water and bring to a gentle simmer. Line two 9x13-inch cookie sheets with parchment paper and trace sixteen 3-inch circles on the paper.
- Arrange the chopped pecans in piles inside the circles. Place a cookie cutter over each pile and swirl it gently to push in stray nuts and make the edges nice and smooth. Spoon the melted caramel on top of the pecans, leaving a border of nuts around the edge.
- Pour the chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl and set over the saucepan of gently simmering water. Be careful not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the hot water, and keep the steam away from the chocolate. Stir occasionally until it is fully melted.
- Let it cool for a few minutes, then pour into a sandwich bag and snip off the tip to create a little piping bag. Pipe a circle of chocolate on top of each turtle, leaving a border of caramel around the edge.
- Chill the turtles for 10 minutes, then use an angled spatula or butter knife to create a decorative swirl on top of each turtle. Sprinkle with flaky salt if desired; then chill for another 20 minutes, or until quite firm. Serve at room temperature to make them easier to eat.
- Chopped pecans will toast faster than whole ones. Watch them carefully as they toast.
- Unwrap the caramels before you melt them.
- Caramel hardening too soon? Place it back on medium heat and stir until melted.
- Make your own caramel if you prefer. Homemade caramel is easier to chew if you have braces.
- Use milk, semi-sweet, or white chocolate instead of dark if you prefer.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.