These are turtle squares, not turtles, because traditional turtles are just blobs of nuts with caramel and chocolate on top. Did you know, by the way, that they got the name of “turtles” because they were made with four nuts sticking out like feet? They aren’t made like that now, but that’s where they got their name.
Anyway, I have made them the traditional way before, but they are much harder to do. This way is far more straightforward (in my opinion) and makes for easier cleanup. These are not a last minute treat, though. It takes almost 12 hours from start to finish.
Start out by melting some chocolate. And please use regular milk chocolate, not the dark stuff! Unless you know you want dark chocolate. Make sure you check the link if you’ve never melted chocolate before, because it’s easy to ruin.
These are some holiday Kisses we still had on hand.
This was part of a big chunk of Hershey’s milk chocolate. Don’t mix different kind of chocolates when you melt them! It doesn’t work. Just trust me.
This was between 1 1/2 and 2 cups unmelted, which is between 1 and 1 1/2 cups melted. For this recipe I’m not concerned about exact amounts. You will control how many turtles you want to make by how much chocolate you melt, how many nuts you add, how much caramel you use, etc.
This is a commercial baking sheet turned upside down. The picture is dark, because of my excellent photography skills. A regular cookie sheet works just as well, but keep in mind that if it has sides, you will want to use the bottom of the baking sheet.
Clean the sheet well and butter it. The buttering is optional and I totally forgot to do it, which is why there’s no picture. Whatever you do, do NOT use wax paper!
Dump the melted chocolate out onto the pan.
For the next step I used an icing spreader, or whatever this tool is called, to spread the chocolate evenly over the pan. It should be roughly in the shape of a rectangle.
And if you know what the real name for an icing spreader is…please tell me. No one calls it the same thing.
While the chocolate is still warm, grab a handful of nuts and sprinkle them onto the chocolate.
Now I used peanuts, but you can use pecans, almonds, walnuts, or whatever nut you like best.
Again, you control how many nuts you want. If you like it nutty, lay them on thick!
When you’re done, put the pan in the fridge to chill for 1 to 2 hours. 2 is better than 1.
When you have about 45 minutes to an hour left to chill, go ahead and make the caramel. You can use any melted caramel, or use a different recipe. I updated my old caramel post from December, which wasn’t too detailed, and that’s the recipe I used for these turtles.
When the caramel is done, and still very hot, take the hardened chocolate/nuts from the fridge.
Grab a spoonful of the caramel…
And lay it on top of the nuts…
Until you have covered the whole thing with a rich, thick coat of caramel.
Again, you control the exact amount of caramel you want to use. This is rather a lot, meaning that the nuts and caramel are about equal. Usually in turtles there’s more nuts than caramel.
Now put the pan back in fridge to harden. I put mine in overnight because I needed daylight, but it shouldn’t take that long, maybe 2 to 3 hours.
When the caramel has hardened, remove the pan from the fridge.
Working quickly, slice it into squares with a knife. Work quickly, because the caramel softens easily.
Tear out a big sheet of wax paper.
This is a pastry scraper.
Now if you don’t have a pastry scraper, just use a big flat sharp knife.
Slide the scraper underneath the squares…
Remove it carefully…
And lay it on the wax paper.
And if you grabbed more than one, break them apart now before they soften and meld together.
Repeat the process…
Until all of the squares have been removed to the wax paper.
Return the squares to the fridge for another 10 minutes or so and melt another cup of chocolate.
Spread some chocolate in a shallow dish.
Now take a square…
And plop it face down in the chocolate.
Swirl it until you think it’s coated.
Now return the square to the pan.
And repeat until all the squares have been coated.
Now you can chill the squares for another 1 to 2 hours, or until the chocolate is hardened.
Here’s another view.
Have fun making these! And then of course they’re fun to eat, too.
Thanks for reading! Sydney