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Homemade Pecan Turtle Candy

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Homemade Pecan Turtle Candy may take a little time to prepare, but trust me when I tell you that this recipe is worth every minute.

A vertical closeup of Homemade Pecan Turtle Candy spilling out of a glass jar onto a black and tan placemat.

I originally shared this recipe in 2013. I’ve recently updated this post with additional information, including a recipe card complete with nutritional information, but the recipe and the photos have remained unchanged.

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Chocolate Pecan Turtles is available at the end of this post. Or you can hit the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.

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A two image vertical collage along with a title text overlay graphic for Homemade Pecan Turtle Candy.

The ingredient list:

**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned

Kitchen tools and equipment needed:

Why this recipe works:

Rich and buttery, these homemade turtles will win over any heart so you may want to consider making them for your special Valentine this (and every) year!

What I wrote about this recipe in 2013:

Every time I make these Chocolate Caramel Pecan Turtle Candy, I plan on sharing the recipe but never have.

It’s not like I’ve been trying to keep them a secret or anything, it’s just that I’ve been very tortoise-like with getting it done.

Today I’ll cross the finish line in regards to sharing the recipe with you.

Trust me when I tell you that they’ll leave all other homemade candy in the dust! Well, maybe that’s a little strong, but I was trying to make a tortoise and the hare reference here (in case you couldn’t tell). Ha Ha!

Why do these homemade turtles require a candy thermometer?

Because you’ll need to bring the caramel mixture to a firm-ball stage and that requires a specific temperature of 248-degrees Fahrenheit to be reached on a candy thermometer.

Approximately how long will it take the caramel to come to a firm-ball stage.

Be patient and don’t rush the process.

Bringing the caramel to a firm-ball stage will take between 15-20 minutes using medium to medium/low heat.

What will happen if the caramel doesn’t come to a firm-ball stage?

It will be much too loose and runny, and the caramel won’t be of a proper consistency for making candy turtles.

Proper temperatures for the different stages of sugar syrup for candy making:

SPECIAL NOTE: I do NOT recommend testing the sugar syrup with your fingers. Always use a candy thermometer! The following video is just for your visual comprehension of the different candy stages when cooking sugar.

How many chocolate coated pecan turtles does this recipe make?

As written, this recipe will make 30-32 regularly sized turtle candies (approximately 1½” in diameter).

However, should you choose to make your turtles larger (or even smaller), then naturally the amount of finished candy will be different.

Can chopped pecans be used in this recipe?

Sure thing. The finished product won’t look like traditional chocolate turtles, but the taste will be the same.

IF you choose to make these turtles with chopped nuts, I would suggest carefully mixing the toasted chopped nuts into the prepared caramel first before dropping the caramel/nut mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Can other types of nuts be used?

Of course. Use whatever nut you like best, or have on hand.

Personally, I prefer pecans in my turtle candy, but feel free to do you!

Why is toasting the nuts best when making this candy?

When you lightly toast a nut, it brings out more nut flavor than a standard raw nut.

Of course, you can still make this recipe without toasting the nuts, but if you’re taking the time to make homemade candy (with nuts), then why not take a few extra minutes to make the finished product as delicious as possible?

Can the nuts be left out of this candy?

Yes!

Just omit all the nut steps and carry on with the recipe as written.

Can other types of chocolate be used?

You bet!

If you’re feeling wild and crazy, why not use some white chocolate chips? Milk chocolate chips will also work.

The step-by-step photos for making pecan turtle candy:

  • Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake them in a 350-degree oven for approximately 7-10 minutes (until you can smell them). Set aside to cool.
  • Add the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt and cook, occasionally stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved.
  • Gradually add in the sweetened con24densed milk and cook and stir over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Continue boiling the mixture, stirring frequently. Be patient as you’ll be boiling and stirring for quite a while (approximately 15-18 minutes).
  • Using a candy thermometer, continue boiling and stirring until the mixture reaches 248-degrees (firm ball stage) on a candy thermometer.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the pecans and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • Carefully drop the caramel and nut mixture, by tablespoon measurements, onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them about 2″ apart.
  • Refrigerate until firm (about 20 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and the shortening together in a microwave-safe bowl on half power for 20-second intervals, stirring until the chocolate is smooth and melted.
  • Using a teaspoon, dollop each turtle with chocolate (or you can drizzle chocolate over the top using a piping bag or fork) and return the turtles back to the fridge to firm before serving.

Additional homemade candy recipes:

*Tropical White Chocolate Candy Bites (shown below and featured in the video)

These easy-to-make Tropical White Chocolate Candy Bites are the perfect thing to make and gift to someone who loves to indulge in a sweet little treat from time to time.

A colorful photo of a pink polka dot plate filled with tropical white chocolate candy bites.

*No-Bake Peanut Butter and Chocolate Granola Jumbles (not shown)

This fast and easy recipe for No-Bake Peanut Butter and Chocolate Granola Jumbles will satisfy your sweet tooth and give you a boost of energy that will last you all through the afternoon.

*Butter Toffee Cashew Crunch (shown below)

When you care enough to give the very best, this recipe for butter toffee cashew crunch candy should be at the very top of your gift-giving list.

A blue plate filled with Butter Toffee Cashew Crunch

*Homemade Candy Dots (not shown)

Homemade Candy Dots conjure up childhood memories of simpler times. These tasty little treats are easy to make, and they’re fun to eat…Just like you remember!

*Homemade Pecan Turtle Candy (shown below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!

A closeup vertical image along with a title text overlay graphic for Homemade Pecan Turtle candy with a melted chocolate topping.

Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today’s delicious chocolate caramel and pecan homemade turtle candy.

If you’ve made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you’re so inclined. Thank you. 🙂

Homemade Pecan Turtle Candy spilling out of a glass heart candy dish.

HOMEMADE PECAN TURTLE CANDY

Renee – Kudos Kitchen
Rich and buttery! Homemade pecan turtle candy may take a little time to prepare, but trust me when I tell you that this recipe is worth every minute.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
chill time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course dessert – candy
Cuisine American
Servings 30 servings
Calories 314 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter I use salted
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ pounds of pecans
  • 1 standard package chocolate chips I used semi-sweet
  • 2 tablespoons shortening

Instructions
 

  • -Spread the pecans evenly on a baking sheet and bake them in a 350-degree oven for approximately 7-10 minutes (they’re ready when you start to smell them). Set aside to cool.
  • -Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium-low heat in a 3 quart, heavy-bottom saucepan.
  • -Add the corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt and cook, occasionally stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved.
  • -Gradually add in the sweetened condensed milk and cook and stir over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • -Continue boiling the mixture, stirring frequently. Be patient as you’ll be boiling and stirring for quite a while (approximately 15-18 minutes).
  • -Using a candy thermometer, continue boiling and stirring until the mixture reaches 248-degrees (firm ball stage) on a candy thermometer.
  • -Turn off the heat and stir in the pecans and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • -Carefully drop the caramel and nut mixture, by tablespoon measurements, onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them about 2″ apart.
  • -Refrigerate the candy until firm.
  • -Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and the shortening together in a microwave-safe bowl on half power for 20-second intervals, stirring until the chocolate is smooth and melted.
  • -Using a teaspoon, dollop each turtle with chocolate (or you can drizzle chocolate over the top using a piping bag or fork) and return the turtles back to the fridge to firm before serving.

Notes

Store the completed candy in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.
May be frozen. Store in an air-tight freezer container for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 314kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 2gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 75mgPotassium: 117mgFiber: 2gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 202IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg
Keyword caramel chocolate and pecan turtles, homemade pecan turtle candy, homemade turtle candy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thank you so much for visiting me here today in my Kudos Kitchen! 

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s homemade caramel and pecan candy treat as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!!

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe or anything else you’ve seen on my site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!

Kudos Kitchen by Renee – Bringing you easy, economical, and delicious dishes to feed the people you love!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!!

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe or anything else you’ve seen on my site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!

Kudos Kitchen by Renee – Bringing you easy, economical, and delicious dishes to feed the people you love!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!!

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Recipe Rating




Shadi Hasanzadenemati

Thursday 13th of January 2022

Oh wow, this looks so delicious. My family is going to devour it!

Renée

Thursday 13th of January 2022

They surely will, Shadi. Enjoy!!

Allison

Thursday 13th of January 2022

My daughter and I love making homemade candy. Absolutely delicious!

Renée

Thursday 13th of January 2022

How fun to have something you and your daughter enjoy doing together. I'm happy to be a part of the fun! Take good care, Renee

Gina

Thursday 13th of January 2022

I've always loved this candy so much, so delicious! Fun to make yourself too!

Renée

Thursday 13th of January 2022

Thanks, Gina! I agree about it being fun to make! Renee

Paula

Friday 11th of January 2013

Oh my, YUM!! Your heart plate is adorable too :)

SallyBR

Thursday 10th of January 2013

hello there! I am stopping by to say I left a note for you at the SRC Facebook page, just received the BEAUTIFUL painted wine glass I won in that giveaway.... thank you SO MUCH!

If you have a moment, stop by the Facebook page because it's a long story = but witha happy ending! ;-)