Turtle Candies are a chocolate shop classic that is surprisingly easy to make at home! You just need three ingredients to recreate the familiar pecan, caramel, and chocolate treats. There are a lot of different ways to make them—some folks form them into patties, while others like to make a more literal turtle shape. Ultimately, the way you make them is up to you. The important part and the thing that makes them a turtle is the combination of chocolate, pecans, and caramel!
When it comes to the caramel, store-bought is going to be fastest and easiest, but as far as taste, we always prefer homemade whenever possible. We won't usually make a new batch of caramel just for turtles, but if we've made caramel and have some left over, turtles are the perfect use for it! Try this recipe for soft caramels and see if it doesn't take your turtles over the top!
- Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with aluminum foil or parchment, and spraying the foil or parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
- Arrange the pecans in clusters of 4 with each pecan pointing in a different direction (like turtle legs). Alternately, you can just drop them in small clusters on the baking sheet.
- Unwrap the caramels and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. If they are very stiff, add a spoonful of water so the final product will be softer. Microwave them until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds.
- Allow the caramel to cool slightly, so it's not piping-hot, then use a spoon or a small candy scoop to drop a spoonful of caramel each pecan cluster. They are meant to be a rustic candy, so don't worry about keeping the turtles round or about having some of the pecans poking through.
- Melt chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler. Spoon the melted chocolate over the caramel layer, letting some drip down the sides, and nudging it around so it covers the top of the caramel completely.
- Place the baking sheet of candies in the refrigerator to fully set the chocolate and caramel, for at least 30 minutes. For the best taste and texture, serve the turtles at room temperature. Extras can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at cool room temperature for up to two weeks.