Caramel Pecan Turtles

Caramel pecan turtles

Prep Time: 1 hour

Inactive Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 50-60 caramel turtles

Recipe inspired by:
Truffles, Candies, and Confections

 
 

Some people call these treats caramel pecan clusters. Whatever you call them, these candies are definitely enjoyable and the recipe seems easy-enough to follow. The only trick is the caramel. The first time through this recipe I didn’t heed the cautionary phrase “stirring constantly” and the caramel burned in the pan. The second time through the recipe, the caramel was cooked beyond 246° F. The result was caramel which was almost too hard to spoon onto the caramel clusters and set with a very crunchy texture.

They say third times the charm…this was definately true for me and this recipe. My third try through this recipe resulted in a soft caramel which was very smooth to eat. However, this was largely the effort of not leaving the caramel’s side during the entire cooking process! The turtles are definitely tastier than the store bought version but they are pretty fussy to make so be sure to try this recipe if you’re feeling patient and have a little extra time on your hands to babysit the caramel while it is cooking.

Ingredients:

5 cups pecan halves, toasted
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Step-by-Step Directions with Pictures:


arranging pecans into turtle stars

1. On two baking sheets, arrange 60 clusters of 4-5 pecan halves each. Be sure to leave at least 1-inch space between each cluster. Set aside.

 
 
 
 
 
 

making caramel mixture for turtles

2. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter. Stir with a mixing spoon or rubber spatula until the mixture begins to boil (5-8 minutes).

 
 
 
 

using a pastry brush to wash down sugars.

3. Use a pastry brush dipped in warm water to wash down the sides of the pan to prevent the sugar from crystallizing.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Cooking caramel to soft-ball stage.

4. Increase heat to medium-high and place a candy thermometer in the pan. Cook the caramel mixture stirring constantly until it registers 246° F on the thermometer (15-20 minutes). Be sure to stir constantly to prevent the caramel from burning. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla.

 
 
 

Turtle caramel in a mixing bowl.

5. Pour the caramel into a 2-quart mixing bowl and stir to cool slightly (about 1 minutes).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

pouring caramel on the turtles.

6. Spoon about a tablespoon of caramel onto the center of each pecan cluster. Allow the caramel to set at room temperature until completely set (about 30 minutes).

 
 
 
 
 

melting chocolate

7. Melt the chocolate using either the double-boiler or microwave methods.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Spooning chocolate onto caramel turtles.

8. Spoon about a tablespoon of melted chocolate onto the center of each pecan cluster. Allow the chocolate covered pecan turtles to set at room temperature until completely set. Store tightly covered at room temperature for up to a week.

 
 
 

Baker’s Tips:


  • Though bittersweet chocolate is the norm, any variety of chocolate (milk, semisweet, bittersweet, dark) will work for this recipe. The pictures above use bittersweet but feel free to change it to meet your tastes.
  • The caramel begins setting quickly once it is removed from the stove top so be sure to work quickly when covering the pecans with caramel.

Printable Recipe


Ingredients:

5 cups pecan halves, toasted
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions:

On two baking sheets, arrange 60 clusters of 4-5 pecan halves each. Be sure to leave at least 1-inch space between each cluster. Set pan aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter. Stir with a mixing spoon or rubber spatula until the mixture begins to boil (5-8 minutes). Use a pastry brush dipped in warm water to wash down the sides of the pan to prevent the sugar from crystallizing. Increase heat to medium-high and place a candy thermometer in the pan. Cook the caramel mixture stirring constantly until it registers 246° F on the thermometer (15-20 minutes). Be sure to stir constantly to prevent the caramel from burning.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the caramel into a 2-quart mixing bowl and stir to cool slightly (about 1 minutes). Spoon about a tablespoon of caramel onto the center of each pecan cluster. Allow the caramel to set at room temperature until completely set (about 30 minutes).

Melt the chocolate using either a double-boiler or in the microwave. Spoon about a tablespoon of melted chocolate onto the center of each pecan cluster. Allow the chocolate covered pecan turtles to set at room temperature until completely set. Store tightly covered at room temperature for up to a week.

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