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Homemade Caramel and Pecan Turtles

Homemade Turtles

3 sleeps till Christmas!  Are you ready?

Every year since I can remember, Debbie makes turtles at Christmas.  Next to making gingerbread houses, they are my daughter, Jessica’s, favorite Christmas treat.  She always goes to Debbies house to help and she is going to be pissed when she finds out that we made turtles without her this year.  She was in Thunder Bay visiting her Dad and her new baby sister.

In my opinion, these turtles are much tastier than the ones that you can buy from Purdys or wherever else.  They are just as easy to make a whole bunch of these as it is to make a few so they make great Christmas gifts too.  Who doesnt like caramel and chocolate, especially when they are made with love…  (awww)

Homemade Turtles

This year Debbie tried a new caramel recipe made with brown sugar instead of white.  It has a buttery toffee flavor and its very good.  Its pretty handy to have a candy thermometer for this recipe.  I did the stirring and minding of the caramel till it reached 245 degrees and you would never be able to tell its ready just by looking it it.  245 degrees is just above the soft ball stage and the only other way to tell if the candy is ready is if you use this cold water test to see if the candy forms a mold-able ball when a little bit is dropped into cold water.  This is totally doable and I remember doing this when I was younger because my candy thermometer broke, but a thermometer is much easier and takes the guess work out of the process.

Basically, you want your caramel soft and mold-able, but still hard enough to hold the shape you mold it into.

Debbie’s Tip:

Stir the caramel as little as possible!  Just grab the handle of the pot and swirl it around rather than stir.  If you stir the caramel, it can crystallize and wreck the whole batch.

Homemade Turtles

Once the caramel is ready, all you do is place a dollop of it on top of a cluster of pecans, or a single pecan, followed by a dollop of melted chocolate.  Once the lot cools, they are ready to eat or package up as gifts.  Or take em to a party.  Or you could just keep them for yourself lol.  They freeze well and would last in the freezer for a while as long as  you wrap them up well.

Homemade TurtlesThis year we decided to sprinkle a little sea salt on top of each turtle.  It just makes the flavor pop and Debbie and I are both huge huge fans of salted caramel!

You still have time to give these a go before Xmas!  Even if your like me and you haven’t got all your gifts bought and wrapped yet.  I have almost everything I need except a bunch of stocking stuffers and a stinking secret santa gift.  We are going to play the secret santa game where you can steal each others gifts and so I want a good one, but for the life of me, I cant figure out what to get.  We have a $40 limit for the gift.  Im gonna google “best secret santa gifts” in a min here and try to figure it out.  Who’s idea was this anyways…???

Homemade Turtles

Homemade Caramel and Pecan Turtles

5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Candy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 60 turtles
Calories: 172kcal
Author: Julie & Debbie


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 4 cups pecans
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • sea salt


  • First make the caramel in a medium sized pot. Start by adding the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk to the pot and bring to a boil.  Try not to stir it, just swish it around with the pot handle.  Stirring can make the caramel crystallize. 
  • Heat the caramel till it reaches 245 degrees on your candy thermometer, or use the cold water test for the soft ball stage.  Take off the heat and cool slightly.
  • Arrange the pecans on some parchment paper and then when the caramel has thickened slightly, spoon the caramel over top the pecans. Cool completely.
  • Melt the chocolate over a small pot of simmering water.  Put chocolate in a bowl and place over the pot and stir till the chocolate has melted.
  • Spoon over the caramel.  Sprinkle with some sea salt and let the chocolate harden.
  • Enjoy!


Nutrition facts are approximate and depend on how big your turtles are. 


Serving: 3turtles | Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 41mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 0.6mg


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