CHOCOLATE PECAN TURTLE CLUSTERS

I absolutely love the combination of chocolate, caramel and nuts. I have a pecan and chocolate toffee recipe that I love, and I don’t know why I’ve never tried to make turtles before. Guys, this turtle candy is just amazing! Better than any turtle candy I’ve ever bought. The crunchy pecans, the chewy caramel, the chocolate that melts in your mouth. Simply incredible.

And so, once the decision was made, I had to say a festive “goodbye” to my favorite treats. How? Well, of course with a sweet little dessert that won’t do much more damage, but will at least give me some form of satisfaction before I start the big battle.

Hmmm what could it be? Of course, it had to be chocolate, so the search started from my Pinterest chocolate table. I quickly found a dessert that met all my criteria! It was sweet, chocolaty and simple – Chocolate Nut and Caramel Turtle Bites. Hmmm the only problem was that I didn’t have any pecans in my pantry. Well, okay, it won’t make much of a difference if we replace them with pre-prepared nuts.

It was so easy to do and it turned out wonderful. I used heavy cream instead of water because I was trying to use the last cream I had left over. It was hard to keep them all about the same size. I will put this in my conservation file.

Ingredients :

2 1/2 C pecans
1/2 C of butter (I use salted butter)
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup
7 ounces of sweetened condensed milk (1/2 of a 14-ounce can)
1/2 cup vanilla
1 package (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup shortening (I use butter-flavoured Crisco).

Directions for use :

1. Mix 2 1/2 cups of pecans in a large skillet. Grill them over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until they have melted a little and smell nice and fragrant. This should only take a few minutes.
2. Find 2 large cookie sheets. Cover them with parchment paper and spray them with cooking spray. Arrange your pecans in clusters, three per group works well. You need to leave a little space (about an inch) between each group.
3. Make your caramel (complete tutorial with pictures found here). Place 1/2 C of butter in a medium size pan. Melt it over medium heat. Add 1 C of brown sugar, 1/2 C of light corn syrup and 7 ounces of sweetened condensed milk to the pan. Increase the heat just a little and stir continuously. Cook and stir until the temperature reaches 235-240 degrees. I usually remove it from the heat when it reaches about 234 degrees. The temperature will continue to rise a little even without direct heat, which will give the caramel the desired texture.
4. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.
5. Carefully sprinkle each nut cluster with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel. Work quickly as the caramel begins to set. Make sure the caramel touches all the nuts in your cluster. The caramel works like glue, sticking the nuts together.
6. In a microwaveable bowl, pour 12 ounces of milk chocolate chips. Microwave for 30 seconds, stirring after each cooking interval.
7. Add 1/2 teaspoon melted chocolate shortening. Let stand for a minute or two (to melt and make the chocolate chips easier to spread). Stir the mixture.
8. Place about 1 1/2 teaspoons of melted chocolate on top of the caramel and nuts. Stir the chocolate on top by making a nice bump with your spoon.
9. Let the chocolate take shape. Once it has hardened and cooled, you can serve them immediately or transfer them to an airtight container.
Source: allrecipes.com