Handmade & Vintage Treasures

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Homemade Pecan Turtles Clusters

I was looking for a candy to fill in my recycled glass jars to give as Christmas treats to friends and family this year. I try to different treat every year. Last year I made date balls. You all know my go-to idea place is Pinterest, so off I went. One of my favorite candies is pecan turtles. I have never made them before. I usually purchase them at the local Russell Stover store or at my favorite candy shop in Pigeon Forge. I can eat them until I green in the face.

So, I found a recipe that seemed easy enough, and thankfully, I did a dry run a few weeks before Christmas. The recipe had a few details that I tweaked to improve the outcome of my second batch. I'll explain as I go through the recipe.

My first tweak...the recipe called to put the pecans down and cover with caramel. After doing this, even after placing the clusters in the refrigerator, the caramel was too sticky. So my clusters stuck together, making them almost impossible to get them out of the jars. My solution. I melted some chocolate first, placing a nice dollop down, them pressing the pecans in the chocolate. Once the chocolate hardens, they pop right off. I made one row at a time to keep my chocolate from setting with out the pecans.


I love white chocolate too, so I made a batch with milk chocolate and one with white chocolate. Instead of using a double-boiler, I melted my chips in the microwave in 10 to 15 second increments. 

The next step in to make the caramel. This is where my second tweak is...even at the temperature the recipe recommends, my caramel spread all over. It warned that the caramel cooled down fast and was difficult to spread then. I let my caramel cool more. As you can see in the picture above, it still spread. After placing my caramel on top, I let it cool more then took a spoon and scooped it back on top.

Last, I melted more yummy chocolate to place on top. As you can see, that placing warm chocolate on top causes the caramel to run again. I just placed them in the refrigerator, the caramel was easier to handle, less sticky, and could be pressed to the sides of the clusters.

As you can see, they worked out very well. I love the combo of white and milk chocolates together. The full recipe is below. You can play with it yourself, adding or lessening the amounts of chocolate or caramel to your likening. For me, this recipe yielded approximately 40 clusters

Homemade Pecan Turtle Cluster Recipe

  • 2 - 2 1/2 cup pecan halves (I used 2 halves per cluster)
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (appx. 7 oz)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2  12 oz. packages chocolate chips ( I used milk and white chocolate)
  • 2 teaspoon Crisco (divided)
  1. Cover 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 1 bag of chips and 1 teaspoon of Crisco (in microwave melt at 10 to 15 second intervals). The Crisco helps with the drizzling of the chocolate. Place in dollops along paper, then press 2-3 pecans in chocolate.
  3. To make caramel, place butter in medium saucepan. Melt over medium heat. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and condensed milk. Stir continually until well blended. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. It needs to be a thick consistency to stay on top of pecans, so play with it.
  4. Carefully drizzle over pecans.
  5. Melt the other bag of chocolate, adding 1 teaspoon of Crisco. Placing a nice drop on top of the caramel. With my left over chocolate, I decorated the tops with the other chocolate.
  6. Allow turtles to set. They can be placed in the refrigerator to speed this process. Store in an air tight container.

Enjoy and share!

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Thank you for reading my post. I enjoy hearing your thoughts. Tisha