|

Homemade Turtle Candy

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share a commission.

Homemade Turtle Candy are a quick no-bake holiday treat, that are both sweet and salty. My mom made these at Christmas time, and they are bringing back all the memories.

Let’s celebrate the holidays with a party tray full of all the delicious treats. Make sure you include some Brownie Crinkle Cookies, some Frosted Soft Sugar Cookies, Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies, and the most amazing Christmas Tree Brownie Bites!

Stack of four homemade turtles.

Candy Turtles

According to Wikipedia, Turtles are a candy made with pecans and caramel dipped in chocolate, with a shape resembling a turtle. The name is trademarked by DeMet’s Candy Company. However, if you look at this original turtle candy, you will notice that they don’t look all that much like an actual turtle.

Nuts were definitely not a thing for me back in the old days. I strongly disliked them, and my siblings and I made sure Mom always left nuts out of at least half of whatever she was baking. So even though I remember her making turtles for us, I personally never ate them.

Now I actually have a special bin in my pantry for nuts, because we eat a lot of them. Cases in point – Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans, Cinnamon Nut Granola, Honey Roasted Nuts, Trail Mix Granola Bars, and so on.

A plate of turtles with salt on top.

Just four ingredients (plus salt)

  • Pecans – Make sure you buy halved pecans, not small pieces. You’ll have some smaller pieces mixed in with the larger halves. Use all of it for these turtles!
  • Caramel – I used Kraft caramels for this recipe, but others will work too.
  • Half and Half – You’ll need a couple of tablespoons of half and half, or maybe just a tiny bit more.
  • Chocolate – I prefer to use the Ghirardelli melting wafers for these turtles.
The ingredients for the homemade turtles.

How to make Homemade Turtles

Step 1
Toast the pecans. In a sauté pan over medium heat, toast the pecans until fragrant.

Step 2
Add piles of pecans to the pan. Use a muffin tin lined with parchment paper liners. Add half of the pecans to the liners. You’ll do this twice (unless you have two muffin tins).

Step 2
Melt the caramel. Add half of the caramels and one tablespoon of half and half to a glass dish. Microwave on 50% power in 30 second increments until soft and creamy. Stir frequently.

Step 4
Add caramel to pecans. Add a spoonful of caramel to each mound of pecans, drizzling it so that it touches all of the pecans.

Step 5
Melt the chocolate. Melt half of the chocolate at 50% power in 30 second increments, or until melted. Stir every 30 seconds.

Step 6
Add chocolate on top of caramel. Add a spoonful of the melted chocolate to the caramel, letting it drip over the caramel.

Step 7
Add salt. Add some kosher salt to the top of the chocolate.

Step 8
Refrigerate. Refrigerate the turtles until they’re completely set. Then repeat with remaining ingredients. This recipe makes 24 turtles.

Closeup on some of the turtles in a muffin tin with liners.

Recipe FAQs

Is using a muffin tin/liners a must?

It’s SO much easier to use a tin and parchment liners because the pecans will stay in place. If you use a regular sheet pan, the pecans will spread apart allowing too much caramel to seep through and all around the pecans. This makes a sticky mess.

Can I skip toasting the pecans?

Yes, you can skip this step. However, toasting nuts allows for the natural flavors to really stand out. I highly recommend toasting the pecans.

Do brand ingredients matter?

In my opinion, the brands DO matter. It’s ok to use off-brand, but the quality is not the same.

Why are my turtles sticky?

If you don’t use the muffin tin/liner trick, most likely your turtles will be super sticky. And even if you use this trick, if some caramel seeps through to the bottom, they’ll be a bit sticky.

How do I store these turtle candies?

For best results, store these turtles in the refrigerator. If your house is super cool, they’ll also be ok on your countertop airtight containers.

Can I freeze these turtles?

Yes, you can store homemade turtles in the freezer in airtight containers for up to three months.

Side shot of homemade caramel turtles.

Expert Tips

  1. You may need to add extra half and half to the caramel (and maybe even microwave it again) as you design the turtles, because the caramel will start to set up.
  2. Using muffin liners makes the turtle process much easier because the pecans stay in place.
  3. Melt the caramels right before adding it to the pecans. Melt the chocolate right before adding it to the caramel.

It’s holiday time, and that means it’s time to make aaaaaall the treats and things. I LOVE this time of year, and the kitchen is my favorite room of the house.

Enjoy!

A hand reaching for a homemade turtle on a plate.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

A stack of homemade turtle candy.

Homemade Turtle Candy

Homemade Turtle Candy are a quick no-bake holiday treat, that are both sweet and salty. My mom made these at Christmas time, and they are bringing back all the memories.
4.72 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade turtle candy
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 turtles
Calories: 159kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. pecan halves
  • 11 oz. Kraft caramels
  • 2 Tablespoons half and half – or more
  • 10 oz. chocolate melting wafers – Ghirardelli
  • sprinkle of kosher salt

Instructions

  • Line a muffin pan with parchment paper liners (or something non-stick)
  • Add small piles of pecans to each cup, using about six pecans for each turtle.
  • Toast the pecans in a non-stick pan until fragrant. Be careful to avoid burning..
  • Melt half of the caramel and one tablespoon of half and half in microwave, stirring every 45 seconds, until melted. I use 50% power. Add a spoonful of caramel to each pile of pecans.
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave, at 50% power. This should only take a minute or so. Spoon a mound of chocolate over each mound of caramel. Add a sprinkle of kosher salt to each turtle.
  • Place turtles in the refrigerator to set. Then remove them from the liners and repeat with remaining ingredients.

Notes

  • When melting the caramel and the chocolate, do it in increments and stir so you don’t burn it.
  • You may need to add extra half and half to the caramel (and maybe even microwave it again) as you design the turtles, because the caramel will start to set up.
  • It’s SO much easier to use a tin and parchment liners because the pecans will stay in place. If you use a regular sheet pan, the pecans will spread apart allowing too much caramel to seep through and all around the pecans. This makes a sticky mess.

Nutrition

Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

9 Comments

  1. Cathy Hanson says:

    Ooey, gooey, delicious!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      They ARE delish, aren’t they?! 🙂

  2. Help! My Caramel is so hard it can brake a tooth…what did I do wrong.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Is it hard when you’re making it or just when eating it? What brand caramel did you use?

  3. I made these using Peter’s caramel. They are delicious but so sticky. Is there something that could be added to help with stickiness? It doesn’t help that I live in Hawaii and there lots of humidity

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I think if you added more pecans so that the caramel stays on top, it would help with the stickiness.

  4. So cool. I love the bite size snack. With that, I don’t feel so bad for eating several. These are awesome!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Natalie! I love holiday baking (or no baking)! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating