If you're a fan of chocolate, caramel, peppermint, and pecans, then you're going to love this homemade pecan turtles recipe with peppermint!
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This homemade pecan turtles recipe makes a delicious and festive treat for Christmas and the month of December. This recipe is perfect for gift-giving, or for enjoying as a sweet treat during the colder months. Plus, with their combination of rich chocolate, nutty pecan halves, and gooey caramel, the pecan turtles are sure to be a hit with anyone who loves a good dessert. So why wait? Give this recipe a try today and see for yourself just how tasty these candy turtles can be!
This pecan turtles recipe is perfect for the holiday season, with its combination of melty chocolate, caramel sauce, and crushed candy canes. And the best part? It's super easy to make and has the perfect balance of flavors!
If you're looking for more delicious recipes like this pecan turtle clusters recipe, check out my gluten-free andes mint crumbl cookie recipe, the best rolo pretzel reindeer, and my apricot truffles recipe with chocolate.
- Why You Will Love These Chocolate Pecan Turtle Clusters
- Why Are Pecan Turtles Called Turtles?
- Key Ingredients for Pecan Turtles
- Recipe Tips for Perfect Pecan Turtles
- Recipe Substitutions
- Recipe Variations
- Recommended Equipment
- Storage Instructions
- How do I melt chocolate?
- What kind of chocolate should I use?
- Can I freeze pecan turtles?
- Homemade Pecan Turtles Recipe with Peppermint
Why You Will Love These Chocolate Pecan Turtle Clusters
- The combination of dark chocolate, caramel, and pecans is delicious flavor combination. The rich and creamy chocolate pairs perfectly with the nutty and crunchy pecans. And, the gooey and sweet caramel adds an extra layer of flavor and texture.
- Crushed candy canes and flaky sea salt add a festive and festive touch to these turtles. They're a great treat for the holiday season. The crunchy and peppermint-flavored candy canes add a refreshing and slightly minty twist to the turtles. The flaky sea salt adds a touch of saltiness, too. It helps to balance out the sweetness of the chocolate caramel.
Why Are Pecan Turtles Called Turtles?
Pecan turtles are called turtles because they are shaped like a turtle. The chocolate and caramel form the body of the turtle, while the pecans form the legs and head. The combination of these ingredients creates a treat that resembles a turtle, which is how these treats got their name.
There are a few different theories about how pecan turtles came to be called turtles. One theory is that the treats were originally shaped by hand into the shape of a turtle, with the pecans forming the legs and head, and the chocolate and caramel forming the body. Another theory is that the name "turtles" was chosen because the treats are shaped like a turtle and also because the combination of chocolate, caramel, and pecans is similar to the filling in a turtle candy, which is another popular confection.
Regardless of how they got their name, pecan turtles are a delicious and fun treat that is enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you're a fan of chocolate, nuts, or caramel, these treats are sure to satisfy your cravings and bring a smile to your face.
Key Ingredients for Pecan Turtles
There are a few key ingredients in this pecan turtle recipe that contribute to its delicious flavor and texture:
- Dark chocolate: This recipe calls for 7 ounces of dark chocolate, which serves as the base for the turtles. Dark chocolate is made from cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, and it has a rich, intense flavor. It is also high in antioxidants, which can have various health benefits.
- Pecans: Pecans are a type of tree nut that are native to North America. They have a sweet, nutty flavor and a crunchy texture. In this recipe, the pecans are toasted until they are fragrant and lightly browned, which enhances their flavor and texture.
- Caramel sauce: Caramel sauce is made from melted sugar and butter, and it has a rich, sweet flavor. In this recipe, the caramel sauce adds a gooey, indulgent element to the pecan turtles. I use storebought caramel sauce, but you can also use your favorite homemade caramel sauce recipe.
- Crushed candy canes: Candy canes are a traditional holiday treat made from peppermint-flavored hard candy. In this recipe, the candy canes are crushed into small pieces and sprinkled over the top of the pecan turtles, adding a festive peppermint flavor to the treats.
- Flaky sea salt: Sea salt is a type of salt that is harvested from seawater. It has a slightly more complex flavor than regular table salt, and the flaky variety has a delicate, crunchy texture. In this recipe, a sprinkle of flaky sea salt adds a touch of sophistication to the pecan turtles.
Recipe Tips for Perfect Pecan Turtles
Here are a few tips for making the best pecan turtles:
- Choose high-quality chocolate: Dark chocolate is the star of this pecan turtles recipe, so it's important to choose good quality chocolate that you enjoy the flavor of. Look for chocolate that is at least 60% cocoa content and has a smooth, creamy texture.
- Toast the pecans: Toasting the pecans before adding them to the pecan turtles recipe helps to enhance their flavor and texture. Be sure to keep an eye on the pecans while they are in the oven, as they can burn quickly.
- Use parchment paper: Lining the baking sheet with parchment paper will make it easy to remove the turtles from the pan and prevent them from sticking.
- Let the turtles cool completely: It's important to let the turtles cool completely before serving or storing them. This will allow the chocolate and caramel to set, making the turtles easier to handle and preventing them from melting in your hands.
- Experiment with different toppings: If you want to switch things up, you can try using different toppings on your pecan turtles. Some ideas might include chopped nuts, sprinkles, or drizzles of white chocolate. Have fun and get creative!
Here are a few recipe substitutions that you can make in this pecan turtle recipe:
- Chocolate: If you don't have dark chocolate on hand, you can use semisweet chocolate or milk chocolate in this recipe. Just keep in mind that the flavor of the turtles will be slightly different depending on the type of chocolate you use.
- Pecans: If you don't have pecans, you can use another type of nut in this recipe, such as walnuts or almonds. Just be sure to chop the nuts into small pieces before adding them to the turtles.
- Caramel sauce: If you don't have caramel sauce, you can use melted caramel candies or make your own caramel sauce by melting sugar and butter in a saucepan.
- Crushed candy canes: If you don't have candy canes, you can omit them or use another type of crushed hard candy in their place. Peppermint candies or wintergreen candies would both work well.
- Flaky sea salt: If you don't have flaky sea salt, you can use regular sea salt or kosher salt in this recipe. Just be sure to adjust the amount you use, as these types of salt have a different flavor and texture.
Here are a few variations that you can try with this pecan turtle recipe:
- Pecan turtles with chocolate ganache: Instead of using caramel sauce and crushed candy canes, try drizzling the pecan chocolate turtles with a rich chocolate ganache. To make the ganache, melt equal parts chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring until smooth.
- Pecan turtles with peanut butter: If you love peanut butter and chocolate, try adding a spoonful of peanut butter to the center of each pecan turtle before topping with chocolate. The peanut butter will add a creamy, nutty flavor to the turtles.
- Pecan turtles with other nuts: If you want to mix things up, try using a different type of nut in place of the pecans. Walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts would all be delicious in this recipe.
- Pecan turtles with different toppings: Try experimenting with different toppings for your pecan turtles. Some ideas might include chopped nuts, sprinkles, or drizzles of white chocolate.
- Pecan turtles with different flavors: If you want to add a different flavor to your pecan turtles, try mixing in some extracts or spices to the chocolate before spreading it over the pecans. Some ideas might include vanilla extract, peppermint extract, or cinnamon.
Check out my easy dark chocolate pecan turtles recipe on my blog!
To make this pecan turtle recipe, you will need the following equipment:
- Cookie sheet: You will need a cookie sheet to toast the pecans and to place the finished pecan turtles on.
- Parchment paper: You will need parchment paper to line the baking sheet and make it easy to remove the turtles from the pan.
- Microwave-safe bowl: You will need a microwave-safe bowl to melt the chocolate in.
- Spoons: You will need a spoon to spread the chocolate over the pecans and to drizzle the caramel sauce over the top of the turtles.
- Measuring cups and spoons: You will need measuring cups and spoons to measure out the ingredients for the recipe.
- Plastic bag or rolling pin: You will need a plastic bag or rolling pin to crush the candy canes into small pieces.
A candy thermometer is not needed for this recipe.
To store your pecan turtles, allow them to cool completely (about 5 minutes). Once they are cooled, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They should keep well for up to a week, though they are best when enjoyed fresh.
If you want to keep them fresh for longer, you can store them in the refrigerator. Just make sure to wrap them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing them in an airtight container. The turtles will become slightly harder and less gooey when stored in the refrigerator, but they will still be tasty.
You can also freeze the turtles for longer storage. To do so, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the turtles to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, simply thaw the turtles at room temperature for about an hour before serving.
How do I melt chocolate?
There are two main methods for melting chocolate: using a microwave or using a double boiler. Here's how to melt chocolate using each method:
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place it in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval until the chocolate is almost fully melted. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate, as it can burn or seize up.
- Stir the chocolate until it is completely melted and smooth. If the chocolate is not fully melted after a few stirs, microwave it for an additional 10-15 seconds.
Double boiler method:
- Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place it in a heat-proof bowl.
- Place the bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
- Stir the chocolate constantly until it is fully melted and smooth.
Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to stir the chocolate frequently to ensure it melts evenly and to prevent overheating. If the chocolate becomes too hot, it can become grainy and difficult to work with.
What kind of chocolate should I use?
When making pecan turtles, it's best to use a high-quality dark chocolate bar. Milk chocolate chips contain an emulsifier that prevents them from hardening. Dark chocolate has a rich, deep flavor and a smooth, velvety texture that pairs well with nutty pecan clusters and sweet chewy caramel sauce. Look for chocolate that has a cocoa content of at least 60% for the best flavor and texture.
You can also use semisweet chocolate if you prefer a sweeter flavor. Semi-sweet chocolate has a lower cocoa content than dark chocolate, so it will be a bit sweeter and less intense. However, it still pairs well with the other ingredients in this recipe.
Avoid using milk chocolate for this recipe, as it may be too sweet and not have enough depth of flavor to balance out the other ingredients. If you do decide to use milk chocolate, be sure to use a high-quality brand and consider reducing the amount of caramel sauce and crushed candy canes to balance out the sweetness.
Can I freeze pecan turtles?
Yes, you can freeze pecan turtles to enjoy them at a later date. To freeze the turtles, first allow them to cool completely after baking. Once they are cooled, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the turtles to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To serve the frozen turtles, simply thaw them at room temperature for about an hour before serving. The turtles will become slightly harder and less gooey when stored in the freezer, but they will still be tasty.
Yes, you can use a different type of nut if you prefer. Chopped almonds, walnuts, or cashews would all work well in this recipe. Just be sure to chop the nuts finely so they fit onto the chocolate mounds.
Caramel does not necessarily contain sweetened condensed milk. Caramel is made by melting sugar until it turns into a golden-brown liquid, and it can be flavored with various ingredients such as butter, cream, and vanilla extract.
Yes, you can omit the caramel sauce and candy canes if you prefer. The turtles will still be delicious without them, and you can simply sprinkle extra chopped nuts over the top if desired.
Yes, you can use a different type of chocolate if you prefer. Dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate are both good choices for this recipe. Just be sure to use a high-quality brand and avoid using milk chocolate, as it may be too sweet and not have enough depth of flavor to balance out the other ingredients.
Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free as it does not contain any gluten-containing ingredients. However, if you are making these for someone with a gluten allergy or intolerance, be sure to check the labels of the chocolate and caramel sauce you use to ensure they are gluten-free.
Yes, you can make these turtles in advance and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze the turtles for longer storage. Just be sure to thaw them at room temperature before serving.
Homemade Pecan Turtles Recipe with Peppermint
- ½ cup pecan halves
- ¼ cup caramel sauce
- ¼ cup crushed candy canes
- Flaky sea salt
- To start, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next, melt the dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, heating it in 20-second increments and stirring in between until it's fully melted and smooth.
- While the chocolate is melting, roughly chop the pecans and set them aside.
- Once the chocolate is melted, spoon small mounds of it onto the prepared baking sheet. Make sure to leave enough space between each mound, as the chocolate will spread as it cools.
- Next, press a pecan half into the center of each chocolate mound. Then, drizzle a small amount of caramel sauce over the top of each pecan. Top with more melted chocolate.
- Finally, sprinkle a pinch of crushed candy canes over the top of each turtle, and finish with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
- Allow the turtles to cool and harden completely, either at room temperature or in the fridge. Once they're fully set, they're ready to be enjoyed!