Perfect Turtle Candy

published Oct 28, 2021
halloween
Turtle Candy Recipe

This adorable dessert consists of pecans toasted to perfection, creamy and chewy caramels, and semi-sweet chocolate all topped with flaky salt.

Serves30

Prep5 minutes

Cook8 minutes to 11 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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homemade turtle candy (a sweet, chewy, and crunchy dessert, make with pecan clusters coated in caramel and melted chocolate) on a white plate.
Credit: Sahara Henry Bohoskey

Before developing this recipe I was quite adamant that caramel was not my friend. I am here to eat my words … as well as a dozen of these adorable turtle candies. This dessert has aromatic pecans toasted to perfection, creamy and chewy caramels, and semi-sweet chocolate all topped with flaky salt. Not to mention it’s assembled and baked on a humble sheet tray.

The use of the pre-packaged store-bought caramels makes the process incredibly easy. All the heavy lifting is left in the melting of the chocolate, which I do in the microwave (but a double-boiler is perfectly fine, too). Many recipes skip coating the pecans with oil, but I assure you that you won’t regret doing this step; the oil help the nuts become more aromatic and toasty.

What Is Turtle Candy Made Of?

Turtle candy consists of a mixture of toasted pecan halves, soft, chewy caramel, and a chocolate shell. It’s an awesome treat that can be made for holiday gifts or a sweet last bite at a dinner party. Although its adorable turtle shape will appeal to kiddos, it’s definitely a dessert that’s enjoyed by all — grown-ups included.

Credit: Sahara Henry Bohoskey

Tips and Tricks for the Best Turtle Candy

Pre-packaged caramels are your friends here — no need to make it from scratch when the store-bought version is absolutely delicious and the cleanup is easy. I like a semi-sweet chocolate, but bittersweet or milk would also be great depending on your taste. A sprinkling of flaky salt brings the flavors all together. 

How to Store and Freeze Turtle Candy

Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. Serve cold or at room temperature but note that once you store the candy in the fridge, the chocolate will condensate.

Turtle Candy Recipe

This adorable dessert consists of pecans toasted to perfection, creamy and chewy caramels, and semi-sweet chocolate all topped with flaky salt.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 8 minutes to 11 minutes

Serves 30

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces

    raw pecan halves

  • Cooking spray

  • 30

    chewy caramel squares

  • 8 ounces

    semi-sweet chocolate

  • Flaky salt, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place 10 ounces pecan halves in a medium bowl and lightly coat with cooking spray. Arrange 5 pecans into a star-shaped cluster (they should be touching) on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pecans, spacing the clusters at least 2 inches apart.

  3. Bake until the pecans smell toasty, about 4 minutes. (They won’t change in color.) Place 1 chewy caramel square in the center of each cluster. Bake until the caramel squares are just melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  4. Coarsely chop 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bars and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes total. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.) Let cool slightly until the chocolate has thickened slightly and has an almost-pudding-like texture, about 5 minutes.

  5. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the chocolate on top of each cooled caramel, then sprinkle with flaky salt. Refrigerate until set, 5 to 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Turtle candy can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.