Turtle Candy

These chocolate caramel candies are a popular sweetmeat at Lammes Candies in Austin. From Lori Grossman's article about Lammes Candies (chocolate strawberries).
  • 1/2 pound caramel (about 30 small ready-made caramels)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 120 large pecan halves (about 3/4 pound)
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, or 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided
  • Butter (for greasing the cookie sheet)
Butter a large cookie sheet and line it with waxed paper. Set aside.

Place the caramels and cream in a heavy small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until the caramel is melted. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Arrange 5 pecan halves in a grouping on the cookie sheet to resemble a turtle's legs and head. Repeat with remaining pecan halves until you have made 24 groupings. Using the back of a spoon, spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of caramel over the center of each grouping of pecans. The caramel will become the turtle's shell, so make sure you leave the ends of the pecans (the head and feet) exposed. Let caramel firm up while you melt the chocolate.

Melt half of the semisweet chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over hot water. (If you don't have a double boiler, place the chocolate in a bowl that fits snugly over a pot of hot water.) When the chocolate has melted completely, remove the top part of the double boiler (or the bowl) from the hot water. Add the remaining 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Insert a candy thermometer or chocolate thermometer into the melted chocolate. The temperature should read 88 to 90°F. If the chocolate is too cold, place it back over the hot water until the temperature reaches 88 to 90°F. If it is too hot, let it cool until the desired temperature is reached.

Using the back of a spoon, spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the chocolate over the caramel to cover it completely. Remember to leave the tips of the pecans exposed. If desired, use a toothpick to draw lines in the chocolate to represent the turtle’s shell. When completely set, (about 4 hours at room temperature), peel the turtles off the waxed paper. Store the turtles in layers, separated by waxed paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Makes 2 dozen.

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Kitchen tools you'll need: Candy Thermometers, Cookie Sheet, Double Boiler, Saucepan
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