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Pecan Caramel Clusters: Homemade Turtles Recipe

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These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for Christmas or Valentine’s Day! If you like homemade turtles, you’ll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 

Don’t you just love pecans? I enjoy them in all ways! From honey toasted pecans to pecan upside down cake, I just love the nutty flavor and crunch that pecans offer! This turtle recipe offers the amazing combination of chocolate, pecans and caramel. Such a perfect combination of sweet, salty and crunchy!

Pecan Caramel Clusters Ingredients

Only a few basic ingredients are needed to make these delicious pecan caramel clusters. 

  • caramels: I used Brach’s milk maid caramels and removed all the wrappers.
  • butter: You can salted or unsalted, whichever you prefer.
  • heavy whipping cream: Don’t have any heavy whipping cream on hand? No problem! Milk or half-and-half can also be substituted. 
  • chopped pecans: You can purchase whole pecans or already chopped, but chopped pecans will be more affordable.
  • milk chocolate chips: I chose milk chocolate for this turtle candy but you can also go with semi-sweet or dark chocolate if you prefer. You could even use two different kind of chocolate and use the second to drizzle over the top of the pecan clusters.
  • vegetable oil: This is optional but it helps to smooth out the chocolate.

If you are looking a chocolate and nut candy recipe with even less ingredients, consider these simple almond clusters with dark chocolate.

How to Make Pecan Caramel Clusters

Making these pecan caramel clusters is easy, but this recipe does have multiple steps for creating the caramels, freezing until firm and then dipping in chocolate.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 

To start, you’ll need to melt your caramels, butter and heavy whipping cream. I did this in intervals in my microwave, stirring every 30 seconds or so.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 

Once the caramels are melted until smooth, you’ll add in your chopped pecans and stir until well combined.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 

Drop your caramel candy mixture by spoonfuls onto two lined baking sheets. I used a silicone baking mat and my candies came off like a dream but parchment paper would also work well.  To avoid sticking I would not use aluminum foil or even waxed paper. Once this candy hardens it could stick to those surfaces.

Kitchen Tip: If you don’t have silicone baking mats in your kitchen arsenal, I highly recommend them! I use them all the time and love them for creating perfect cookie bottoms and for chocolate dipped candy like this one! They wash up great and can be used over and over again.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 

You should end up with approximately 50 candies when you are finished. You’ll then want to freeze until firm, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. This step is important so your candies don’t melt when they are dipped in melted chocolate.

Kitchen Tips: To save time, you can put one baking tray in the freezer at a time before dropping the rest of your pecan caramel clusters on your second tray and then melting your chocolate. Also keep in mind how you drop your caramels will determine how they look when they are dipped.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 

When melting chocolate I like to use a large glass measuring cup. It is perfect to measure, melt in the microwave and then dip your candies in chocolate. Less clean up is always better, right?When dipping anything in chocolate it is best to have a more narrow bottom so you can truly dip as long as possible. I always like to add a little bit of canola, vegetable oil or shortening to my melted chocolate for a smoother finish.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 

Once you’ve frozen your pecan clusters, they are very easy to handle. I used a candy dipping fork to dip them in chocolate, but you could also use a traditional fork or even two forks instead.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 

You will want to gently tap your chocolates many times in order to remove the excess chocolate before placing them back on your lined baking tray to dry until firm. I like to put my pecan caramel clusters in the fridge so they firm up faster.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 

That is all there is to making these delicious clusters that taste a lot like turtles candy! You can keep these turtle candies in the fridge to avoid any melting but if you do, I recommend leaving them out a bit at room temperature so the caramel has a chance to soften a bit before serving.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 

If you love Christmas candy recipes, be sure to check out my cracker toffee (also known as Christmas Crack since it is so irresistible), my easy gingerbread truffles, or this recipe for the best peanut brittle.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 
4.6 from 20 votes
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Pecan Caramel Clusters

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for Christmas or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat.

Keyword Christmas, homemade candy, pecan caramel candy, pecan caramel clusters, turtles, Valentine's Day
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 50
Author FindingZest.com

Ingredients

  • 1 13 ounce package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream half-and-half or milk
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 2/3 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. In large microwave safe bowl, melt caramels, butter, and heavy whipping cream in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until fully melted and smooth.

  2. Stir in chopped pecans.
  3. Drop nut mixture by spoonfuls onto two baking sheets lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  4. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  5. In medium microwave save bowl, melt chocolate chips and oil in microwave starting with one 30 second interval and then 15 second intervals. Stir after each interval just until fully melted and smooth. (DO NOT OVER COOK)
  6. Dip each caramel cluster into chocolate using two forks until fully coated, gently shaking off excess and place on lined baking sheet.
  7. Chill until firm.

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 

I brought this tasty homemade candy to my son’s piano recital and they went fast. Make these caramel clusters as a gift or for your next holiday celebration including Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Easter! 

 

These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 
These delicious pecan caramel clusters are the perfect homemade candy recipe, perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day! If you like homemade turtles, you'll love this chewy pecan caramel candy dipped in chocolate for a special treat. 
 

3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    As a man trying this for the first time,I tried it slightly different but each one came out yummy, Will be making these again ?

  2. They turned out fantastic! followed the recipe to the tee. I probably would have gotten 50 if I had not made him soo big. Thanks so much for sharing

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