Turtle candy is a delicious confection that can be made at home with only a few ingredients. The familiar combination of caramel,chocolate , and pecans has been around for generations – but what makes it so special? It’s the unique process that goes into making each piece!
- 3 cups pecan halves
½ cup unsalted butter
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups chocolate morsels milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
Add halved raw pecans on a large baking sheet. Bake them for 10 minutes in a 350 degree heated oven. Toasting the pecans adds a deep, rich flavor that makes these candies taste so delicious. Once toasted, remove the pecans from the sheet and coat the pan with parchment paper.
On the parchment paper-lined baking sheet into 34 separate groups that are 2″ – 2 1/2″ wide.
In a 5-quart stockpot, add the light brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add in the salt, vanilla, and sweetened, condensed milk. Continue cooking and stirring the mixture until the candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F. Once at temperature, remove caramel from the heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes to thicken. This will allow for an easier to spoon caramel.
Once the caramel has cooled a bit, spoon 3/4 of a tablespoon over each bunch of pecans. Place the baking sheet in the fridge to harden the caramel for 15 minutes before adding the chocolate.
In a microwave-safe glass bowl, add the milk chocolate chips and vegetable shortening. Heat morsels in 30-second intervals stirring in-between each. Once creamy, remove the caramel topped pecans from the fridge, and spoon about a tablespoon of chocolate over each caramel nut cluster.
Once all are topped, return the candy to the fridge to allow for the chocolate to harden. Enjoy once the chocolate is firm.
Nutritional values may vary and are meant to be a guide.
Tips for success The caramel must be made with patience and attentiveness. You do need a candy thermometer because too low of a temp will result in runny caramel and too high will make caramel that cannot be bitten into (like glass).
The change over happens fast so have everything ready to go.Allowing the caramel to sit over the pecans for 5 minutes helps it to settle a bit as the chocolate topping is prepared.Do not microwave the chocolate (or temper in a double boiler) until the caramel is prepared.
Do not get the chocolate wet. Make sure the stirring spoon, and bowl are completely dried before using them. The use of shortening help to make these creamy. Microwave on 50% less power and stir in-between each.Always use quality parchment or wax paper for the setting process. Cheap dollar store varieties are not as nonstick as they claim!