Turtle Squares

If you like chocolate, caramel and pecans, then chocolate turtles are a must for you. A turtle is when all three of these great flavors are combined together to make a delicious sweet treat.

Chocolate turtles were first created in 1918 at the Johnson’s Candy Company, or so they say. It is also believed they were first created in San Francisco by candy chef Louis Gordon Hooper, around the same time. So take your pick. Who knows which one is the correct answer, and it really doesn’t matter that much. All that matters is that these sweet treats taste terrific. They got their turtle name because once everything was assembled together, with the chocolate and caramel piled on top of the pecans, they looked like turtles. Imagine that! πŸ™‚

As with anything, there are always many variations, with new creations coming out all the time. I love anything that combines the flavors of chocolate, caramel and pecans. To me, that is a perfect combination. It’s sweet but not too sweet and soft and crunchy and salty all together in one bite. As I said, PERFECTION all in one bite. I turned my turtles into a bar and served them on yesterday’s coffee cart. One gentleman told me they were decadent and sinful, as he was finishing one up. Too “sinful” for church? Maybe, but no one seemed to mind too much. πŸ™‚ They all disappeared within minutes of being displayed. The turtle squares were just one of a few popular items featured. I had a lot of goodies when I first put them out, and by the end of service, there was hardly anything left. This is exactly what I like to see every Sunday morning too. πŸ™‚

Turtle Squares

I still had quite a bit of my caramels Video #18 – Making Caramels withΒ Priscilla from my last batch that Priscilla and I made a while back, so rather that making more caramel, I used what I already had. Waste not, want not you know. πŸ™‚

The Crust

3/4 cup or 1 1 /2 sticks softened butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 1 /2 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350* F or 190 *C.

Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.

Place all the ingredients together in bowl and mix until it all resembles coarse sand. Then pour it all into the prepared baking pan and firmly press it into the pan forming an even crust.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is set and is lightly golden around the edges.

While the crust is baking, coarsely chop the pecans.

When the crust is ready, remove it from the oven and evenly spread the chopped pecans over the crust.

Make your caramel spread. As I mentioned above, I just melted down my caramels that I already had made and added about 1/4 cup of heavy whipping creamy to make them melt faster and easier, as well as to make it a creamier sauce. But if you are making the caramel topping here is the recipe.

The Caramel Sauce

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup 1 stick of softened butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tsp vanilla

2 squares or 2 oz of baking chocolate, melted

In a heavy saucepan, cook everything except the chocolate. Cook to a full, rapid boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to medium high until it reaches 248*F or the firm ball stage, stirring constantly, using a candy thermometer, then carefully pour the melted caramel over the nuts.

Allow to cool for about 1 hour. Melt the chocolate then drizzle over the top of the caramel. I had some chocolate ganache that I used, which is just equal parts chocolate and heavy whipping cream melted together.

Place the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before slicing so the chocolate hardens. This will make slicing it much easier too. Remove the bars from the pan and slice and share.

Have a great day Everyone. Stay safe, satay warm and stay well. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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