Delicious local ingredients come together to make chocolate caramel pecan clusters (turtles) for great gifts or desserts at your next party!
The pecans & chocolate were provided to me at no cost, but these opinions are my own.
Chocolate-making is fun, and makes wonderful gifts for the holidays or any other time of year! I found myself with some chocolate and pecans at the same time and just knew that these chocolate caramel clusters (turtles) were destined to be made. I’m going to tell you about the spotlights a little earlier this post and then wrap anything up at the end that you might need to know!
Local Spotlight: Ann found me in a Facebook group and told me all about her new venture – The Great Buffalo Pecan Farm! These pecans are Pawnee papershell pecans, and they are much bigger than Oklahoma native pecans, and super delicious. I’m not normally a pecan person…unless they’re candied (like in this spiced pecan recipe), or in turtles (everything is better with chocolate) – but trust me. These are good! You can order your own pecans at greatbuffalopecanfarm.com.
Glacier Confections is incredible, and I wish I could live there (complete with the endless loop of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that plays). They create beautiful chocolates that are almost so pretty you don’t want to eat them. But trust me, you’ll want to eat them. Earlier this year, they held a tasting and info session about their chocolate at the Gilcrease Museum, as a part of the Chocolate exhibit they had. I surprised Justin with a trip to learn more about our favorite chocolate’s favorite chocolate sources! I remember them saying that you could buy their callets (round candy-melt shaped chocolate) for home candy making…So I shot them a quick email to ask about the availability and prices and they offered me a pound for free (blog perks!)! If you want to make your own, they are sold in half pound bags for about $8 each in the store (it looks like you can’t currently buy them online).
I highly recommend a silicone baking mat (affiliate link). My sister got one for me for Christmas two years ago, and I really don’t use it that often since I don’t bake a whole lot. But it comes in clutch at times like these. All of the clusters, before chocolate and after, came right off the mat with no issues! I wish I baked more. It would be my favorite toy.
All the instructions you should need are found in the recipe card, so I’ll let you get moving. I think these are going to become my new favorite treat to bring as host gifts or maybe just for everyone this holiday season!
Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters (Turtles)
- 8 oz pecan halves
- 24 chewy caramel candies I used Werther’s Chewy
- 1/2 lb. milk chocolate
- Sea salt or Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- On a silicone mat on a cookie sheet, arrange 12 caramels so that none are touching each other. (4x3 may work best)
- Heat caramels on the sheet for 5-7 minutes, until small bubbles form in the caramel.
- Remove sheet and press four pecans into the center of each caramel circle. Let cool.
- Melt the chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave until completely melted. (You can also use the double boiler method on the stove)
- Gently move all clusters off the silicone mat and dollop about a teaspoon of chocolate onto the mat in the same place.
- Press a cluster on top of the chocolate until chocolate appears at the edges of the cluster.
- Top cluster with additional chocolate.
- (Repeat for the rest of the clusters)
- When the chocolate is nearly set, sprinkle flake or kosher salt on the tops of each turtle for garnish. Refrigerate until hard, if desired. If not, you can leave them out.
- Let come to room temperature before serving (caramel will have gotten hard in the fridge)