These decadent little nibbles go a long way towards satisfying the old sweet tooth that we all know and love! We make them with Sally’s Baking Addiction salted caramel, which is fabulously delicious and comes out perfectly every time! Then, we use toasted pecans and tempered dark chocolate for an extra-crunchy, salty, sweet, chewy, gooey bite of candy! This delectable flavor explosion is one that you’re not going to want to miss!
We just love Sally’s Homemade Salted Caramel recipe not only because it turns out perfectly every time, but she gives the best play by play instructions, so you know exactly what to expect each step of the way and it tastes amazing. It’s made with just four ingredients: sugar, butter, heavy cream and salt. The salt really brings out the caramel flavor, which why we think this caramel is so divine. We make just one change to her caramel for these turtles, and that is to cook the finished caramel a little bit longer over low heat to allow it to thicken it up enough to form a candy that you can pick up with your fingers.
We also use Sally’s salted caramel for our Halloween caramel apples and it’s perfect for dipping the apples and hardens up just to the perfect thickness. Don’t forget to sample a spoonful of this caramel sauce every so often to put a big smile on your face!
Salted Caramel Toasted Pecan Turtles
- Heavy bottomed 1.5 quart saucepan
- Kitchen mitt or gloves
Sally’s Homemade Salted Caramel
- 1 cup pure cane granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature and cut into 6 pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. salt We use Himalayan pink salt
- 100 pecan halves
Dark Chocolate Coating
- 10 oz. dark chocolate chips We use Ghirardelli’s 60% Cacao chocolate chips
- Heat the sugar in a medium heavy saucepan (do not use nonstick) over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The sugar will form little clumps and then melt into a rich, thick brown amber colored sauce. Keep stirring so you don’t burn it. This takes about 8-10 minutes +/-.
- When the sugar is completely melted, immediately stir the butter into the sugar until it’s melted and combined. The mixture can splatter at this stage, so be sure to wear some mits or kitchen gloves. We find that we have to take it off the burner for a a second or two when it starts to splatter. If the mixture separates or becomes clumpy, remove it from the heat and stir vigorously until the mixture comes back together, which it will. This can take anywhere from 1-4 mintues. Then return it to the heat. This happens almost every time for us, so don’t worry if this happens to you!
- Once you have a well combined butter-sugar mixture, cook over medium heat for one minute, undisturbed. (i.e. do not stir during this step – this can test your anxiety level, but it works, so don’t stir!)
- Now, very slowly add the cream, stirring all the while. The mixture will bubble up quickly because the cream is cooler than the mixture. Once all of the cream is added, stop stirring and cook again, undisturbed, for one minute. The caramel will rise up in the pan as it cooks. This is okay as long as your pot is large enough!
- Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the salt.
- The caramel will seem thin, but it thickens as it cools. Because we are making candy with it, we like it just a bit thicker, so we return it to low heat and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thicker and reduced in volume. Set aside to cool to room temperature before spooning it over the toasted pecans when making the turtles.
- Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350°F. Lay pecans halves out on baking sheet and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until they start to smell toasty. Check on them often, because they are quick to burn if you take your eyes off them for long!
Dark Chocolate Candy
- You will need to temper the chocolate, and the best way we have found to do this is to melt 2/3 of the chocolate chips over a double boiler so the temperature of the chocolate doesn’t get too high. Then, remove from the stove and stir in the remaining chocolate chips and stir until completely melted.
- Note* You can also do this in the microwave, by melting the chocolate in 20 second intervals, stirring in between each, until the chocolate is melted.
Assembling the turtles
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the pecans out in clusters of 4 halves, spread out a couple of inches apart. Reserve one pecan half for the top of each turtle.
- Drop the caramel by a spoonful on top of each cluster of pecans. You may need to use a spoon or knife to catch any runaway caramel and to bunch everything together into a mound, but for the most part, leave the pecans at the bottom of the mound, which makes it easier to remove the turtles from the parchment paper. Refrigerate the caramel-pecans clusters for 5-10 minutes.
- Spoon the tempered chocolate over the top of the caramel and place a pecan half on top of the chocolate. Chill until ready to serve!
- Note* We keep these in the freezer and bring them out just in time for serving.