Christmas Baking: Turtles

by Jenny Fri, December 27 2013 11:47

Several years ago, a co-worker told me the story of her infamous turtles. She found the recipe in a Company's Coming cookbook when she was young and foolish, and gave it a try. She hasn't gone a Christmas since without making them, and now makes several batches to give away to family, friends, co-workers, and her husband's staff and clients. I figured what the heck, I'll give it a try. And now I'm in same conundrum.

These babies are a lot of work, but are incredibly tasty. I can't eat commercial turtles any more (they also look ridiculously dinky to me now), and they used to be one of my favourite holiday treats.


1.5-2 lbs Pecans (I buy the 1kg bag from Superstore and use it all or the 2lb bag from Costco and have a bit extra caramel)
1.5 c corn syrup
1 c butter
1 can (approx 1 cup) sweetened condensed milk
1 c packed brown sugar

2c semisweet chocolate chips (or more – I normally need at least twice this; and buy the good chocolate, Chipits don't melt well)

Cover several large trays (cookie sheets, cutting boards, etc) with plastic wrap, parchment paper or Silpat. Combine syrup, butter, sugar, and condensed milk in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring. Continue to boil slowly over low heat stirring constantly for about 25 minutes to medium hard (soft-ball) stage (250F on a candy thermometer – a small amount dropped in ice water will form a firm ball that can hold its shape but can easily be flattened; the colour will start to get a bit darker at this point). Remove from heat and mix in pecans. Spoon 3-5 pecans and caramel into clumps onto trays. Freeze until firm for easy dipping.

Melt chocolate chips. Dip pecan clumps (balance on forks). Place back on plastic wrap to set.

Makes 5-9 dozen depending on cluster size. First paragraph takes about an hour.

For information on soft-ball stage, view my YouTube video I made for friends last year.