Chocolate Turtle Clusters are delicious homemade candies with walnuts, caramel and chocolate. As much as I love Christmas and the New Year, one thing always drives me nuts when these magic moments go into the past:
What is it about the holidays that makes even the simplest tasks seems daunting? I love to bake but around the holidays there just never seems to be enough time! This recipe is a favorite of mine because it involves ZERO baking or mixing. Even the measuring is minimal and the result is still a yummy, sweet treat. Throw together some cute packaging and you are ready for a cookie swap!
MAKES 20 – 24 CLUSTERS
8 oz of pecan halves, toasted
14 oz package of caramel candies, unwrapped
1 tablespoon of milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
12 oz package of dark chocolate pieces
2 ounces of white chocolate, chopped
Fleur de Sel
1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Arrange pecans in a cluster of 5-6 halves
2. In a small saucepan combine caramels, milk and vanilla. Heat and stir over medium heat until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Don’t let them burn! Spoon caramel over each cluster of pecans. Return saucepan to heat periodically if your mixture starts to harden before you’ve finished all your clusters. Let stand for about 30 minutes or until firm.
3. In a medium saucepan heat and melt dark chocolate pieces over low heat until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside about 1/4 cup of melted chocolate in a resealable plastic bag. Spoon remaining chocolate over clusters and gently spread to the edge. Let stand for about 30 minutes or until firm.
4. Meanwhile, chop white chocolate into small pieces and melt in microwave uncovered for about 1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds. Spread white chocolate over tops of clusters.
5. Microwave the plastic bag you reserved the dark chocolate mixture in for 20 seconds. Snip a tiny bit off one corner and drizzle over the top of each cluster.
6. Finish by sprinkling fleur de sel over each while drizzled chocolate is still soft.