Valentine’s Treats: Homemade Turtles

Homemade Turtles

Homemade Turtles

When I told my daughter we were going to make homemade turtles, she asked if they were going to have “feet and arms and a little head poking out.” She thought it was pretty great that we were going to make turtles out of chocolate and caramel.

As I was getting ready to post this, I thought I’d try and find out a history of turtles. Alas, I couldn’t find anything other than that have been made for about two hundred years. (You can read a bit more in this article.)

From Scratch Homemade Turtles Candy

In any case, turtles are a delicious way to get your calorie count for the day in one pop, and to combine three of my favorite things: pecans, caramel, and chocolate.

Homemade Turtles with caramel and pecans before dipping

I’ve found that people associate turtles with Christmas, but I usually have them for Valentine’s Day.

They are super easy to make. There are tons of recipes out there. All you have to do is check around a bit.

 Homemade Turtles with caramel and pecans after dipping

But, since you are reading this, why don’t I tell you how I like to make them? I’m still a novice in dipping chocolates, but I have made turtles several times over the years with good luck.

(Soapbox alert: Please use homemade caramel and real chocolate. Okay?)

Homemade Turtles

Ingredients:

1 batch of homemade caramels, slightly undercooked** so they hold a shape, but aren’t too firm
1 pound bittersweet or milk chocolate
1 teaspoon pure vegetable shortening (or a little paraffin wax has also been suggested by readers)
1-1 1/2 pounds whole pecan halves

Instructions:

1. Cut the soft, prepared caramel into small squares and press two pecan halves onto one side. Allow them sit for about 15 minutes so the tops smooth out a bit.

2. Melt the chocolate and shortening together in the microwave on 50% power. (Make sure to keep it at the proper temperature so it doesn’t bloom and give you streaks!)

3. Dip each piece of caramel into the chocolate using a fork with long tines, dragging the bottom against the edge of the bowl and tapping to remove excess chocolate. Carefully place each piece on a piece of waxed paper. Let them cool and harden.

4. Store in a dry, cool place in an airtight container. Place pieced of waxed paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking to each other.

Yield: Varies, but I got between 5-6 dozen out of one batch of caramel and one pound of chocolate.

**One thing to remember is that you have to adjust the cooking temperature according to altitude. When I lived in Utah at a high altitude, I had to cook the caramel to 234°F. When I lived at sea level on the East Coast, I cooked it to 244°F.

 

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