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Homemade Chocolate Turtles

These easy homemade chocolate turtles will become your new favorite treat. The crisp pecans, chewy caramel and creamy chocolate with sea salt on top is pure heaven!

Chocolate turtles with sea salt on a white plate.
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Easy Pecan Turtles

During the holidays, we always like to make a few batches of our favorite Christmas candy. These homemade chocolate turtles, peanut butter buckeyes and Christmas crack toffee are always the most requested.

Whenever I walk into a candy shop, I always have to pick up a chocolate turtle. The layers of crisp pecans, chewy caramel and creamy chocolate with sea salt on top are to die for. I just love the sweet and salty combo!

And these homemade turtles taste just like the ones you’d get from a fancy candy store! They have the perfect chocolate to caramel ratio and that sprinkle of sea salt really takes them over the top.

The best part? They’re super easy to make with only 4 ingredients. Plus they come together quickly, which means you’ll be saving both time and money making your own pecan turtles at home. Yes please!

4 Simple Ingredients!

Chocolate turtle ingredients on marble counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Pecan halves: To give them a boost of flavor, toast them in a skillet over medium heat for a minute.
  • Caramels: I like to use Kraft caramels (the bits work great too) or werthers. If I’m really splurging I prefer to use Peter’s/
  • Heavy cream: Just need a little splash to help the caramel melt nicely.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate: Using chocolate chips or melting wafers.

How to Make Chocolate Turtles

Showing how to make chocolate turtles.
  • Pile. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then pile 3 to 5 pecans together to make pecan clusters.
  • Melt. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the caramel with heavy cream for 1 minute. Stir until smooth, then microwave for another 30 seconds if needed. If you need to thin it out a bit, add in another Tablespoon of cream. Then let cool for 1 minute.
  • Pour. Drizzle about 1 to 2 teaspoons of caramel on top of each cluster. Then allow to set.
  • Melt. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler or place in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth, then microwave for another 15 seconds if needed. Let cool for 1 minute. Pour about a teaspoon of chocolate on top of the caramel.
  • Sprinkle. Sprinkle the flake sea salt over top.

Expert Tips

  • Be careful not to overcook the caramel. It can burn easily.
  • Toast the pecans in a skillet for a minute or two to get a more toasted taste.
  • Don’t forget the maldon flake salt adds (it’s the best) on top.
  • Use a gourmet caramel like Peters caramel. You could also make your own as well using my microwave caramel recipe or homemade caramels.
  • You could also make this recipe with almonds instead of pecans if preferred.
Chocolate turtles on a white counter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are in chocolate turtles?

Turtles are a candy made with pecans, caramel and chocolate.

Why is it called turtle chocolate?

Turtles were named by Johnson’s Candy Company after one of their workers pointed to the clusters and said they looked like turtles.

How long will it take to melt the caramels?

If cooking in the microwave, it will take about 1 minute. Go in 20 second increments after that point and stir in between.

What does chocolate turtle taste like?

It’s a combination of sweet and salty with the texture being soft and crunchy from the nuts. All the best textures in one dessert.

How long are chocolate turtles good for?

Layer them between wax or parchment paper in a covered container. They’ll stay good at room temperature for 3 weeks. You can also freeze up to 3 months.

Storage and Freezing

To store: Place turtles in an airtight container and store at room temp for up to 3 weeks. Just make sure to keep them in a cool, dry place so that the chocolate doesn’t start to melt!

To freeze: Add to a freezer container with a piece of wax paper in between each layer of candies. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

Chocolate turtles on a white plate.

Do you love pecans? You’ll also want to try my Mexican wedding cookies, pecan pie bar recipe or these candied pecans.

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Chocolate turtles on a white plate.

Chocolate Turtles Recipe

5 from 25 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
These easy 4-ingredient chocolate turtles will become your new favorite treat. The crisp pecans, chewy caramel and creamy chocolate with sea salt on top is pure heaven!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 16

Ingredients 

  • 4 ounces pecan halves
  • 8 ounces caramels , I prefer Krafts or Peters
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate melting wafers , or chopped chocolate
  • flake sea salt

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pile 3-5 pecans together into a cluster.
  • Melt the caramel with the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Microwave an additional 30 seconds if needed. Add another Tablespoon of cream if needed to thin it out. Allow to cool for 1 minute.
  • Pour about 1-2 teaspoons of caramel over each cluster. Then allow to set.
  • Melt the chocolate in a double broiler or in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Microwave an additonal 15 seconds if needed. Allow to cool for 1 minute. Pour about a teaspoon of chocolate over top of the caramel.
  • Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes and then sprinkle the sea salt over top.

Video


Notes

Toasted pecans: Feel free to toast the pecans in a skillet or roast in the oven for a minute or two to get a more toasted taste.
Storage: Place in an airtight container and store at room temp for up to 3 weeks.
To freeze: Add to a freezer container with a piece of wax paper in between each layer. Store in freezer for up to 3 months. Let come to room temperature before serving.
Serving size: Makes about 16-24 turtles, depending how large you make the clusters.

Nutrition

Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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