Homemade Chocolate Turtles: Even better than See’s!

chocate-turtlesI was roaming the airport in Atlanta restlessly, waiting to catch a flight to GR…cramped legs, bleary-eyed, and brain dead. We’d just survived a sixteen-hour, 40-minute flight from Johannesburg, which Alan and I figured must be in the running for the world’s longest commercial flight, and the thought of enduring two more hours in the airport was…discouraging to say the least. Just when I was thinking that eating breakfast might help,what to my wondering eyes should appear but a See’s candy shop! See’s Candies just happen to produce our favorite chocolates, but they’re based in San Fransisco and have precious few factories anywhere east of Spokane, Washington (yes…just a few miles from our son Jonathan’s home!). See’s used to be available in most major U.S. airports, but in recent years they’ve all but disappeared from airport retails. My eyes lit up, and I thought how pleased Alan would be at my discovery. I sidled up to the counter and asked how much it would cost for a box of turtles (Alan’s favorite).  I’m pretty sure the lady said thirty dollars. I smiled sweetly and left. I have too much Scottish blood to pay out that kind of ransom for anything less than the lifeblood of a loved one. However, I decided that no matter what else I did or didn’t make for Christmas this year, I was going to make chocolate turtles…more for less! If you love chocolate turtles as much as our family does, then you might enjoy trying our recipe, which is easy and pound for pound (this recipe makes about 3 pounds) costs about one-sixteenth what you might pay at a candy shop (at least an airport candy shop…)   caramelsUnwrap 1 pound of caramels. (I like Kraft, but I’ll bet there are lots of good ones out there. However, the quality of the caramel and chocolate make a big difference in the final taste, so make sure you choose flavors you really like.)  melted-caramels-and-pecansAdd 1/4 c. half’n’half and 2 T. butter. Microwave for 1.5 minutes. Stir until completely melted and smooth. While this is heating in the microwave, take time to line two large cookie sheets with waxed paper or butter them heavily.

Add to the caramels 1 pound of roasted, salted pecans (halved, although chopped also works). Stir thoroughly.  turtle-mix-ready-to-spoon-out                            Cool until the mix is starting to form soft balls. caramel-turtle-candiesWorking quickly, drop the mix in rounded teaspoons onto the waxed paper. Chill until very cold. (Overnight in the refrigerator isn’t too long.)  chocolate-chips-and-coconut-oilCombine 1 pound of chocolate chips (milk chocolate, semi sweet, or dark, depending on your taste) with 2 T. coconut oil in a narrow, deep bowl and microwave for 1 minutes. melted-chocolate-chips-and-oil                      Stir until completely melted and uniformly smooth.  fabulous-chocolate-turtle-candiesDip the turtles into the chocolate using two spoons, and place each candy back on the waxed paper. Chill until the chocolate is firm. Store carefully to retain the sheen. (If you’ve got room in the refrigerator, garage, or cold storage area, that’s ideal.) chocolate-covered-nutsP.S—If you have any leftover chocolate, try stirring in a few of your favorite roasted, salted nuts, such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, or macadamia nuts. Spoon into small cups and let them harden. Enjoy!

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” (Psalm 119:9-11)

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