I have a favorite local chocolate shop and when I go in there, I just stare at the cases and boxes of confections, paralyzed with indecision. I normally don’t navigate to things like fruit or cream fillings, but just about anything else is fair game to me. Nuts, peanut butter, truffles, marshmallows, pretzels, caramel… you name it and I’ll devour it! My mom has always had a soft spot for anything with nuts, turtles in particular. Each Christmas, I like to get her a box to enjoy over the holidays. This year, I finally got down to business and made my own. They are incredibly easy to make and will be a huge hit with your candy-loving friends and family.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am getting bigger, a little more uncomfortable, my feet hurt and I’ve developed pregnancy-onset carpal tunnel (ow!). SO, with that being said, I’ve been more into short cuts these days. I had great success making these turtle candies by melting down caramel candies with a little bit of water. If it had been six months ago, I would have totally made my own caramel, which you can absolutely do… this time, though, I took a little short cut. Just trying to keep it real around here! :)
My mom totally adored these and my father-in-law, who is also a huge fan of candy with nuts, loved them as well. A big thumbs up from everyone who sampled these; I highly recommend these turtles as part of your holiday cookie tray or to give away as gifts.
On the baking sheet arrange clusters of five pecans in the shape of a turtle's head and four legs.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the caramels and water, stirring constantly, until completely melted and smooth.
Spread a spoonful of caramel sauce over each cluster or pecans, ensuring that the caramel is touching each pecan. Place in the refrigerator until set, about 15 minutes.
Place the chocolate chips and shortening in a small bowl and place in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely melted and smooth.
Spread a spoonful of the melted chocolate on top of the caramel and allow to sit at room temperature until the chocolate is completely set, about 30 minutes. The turtle candies can be stored in an airtight container, with a layer of wax or parchment paper between layers, at room temperature. They can also be stored in the refrigerator, but allow them to come to room temperature before serving, as the caramel layer will be too hard to eat straight out of the refrigerator.