Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Pecan Turtles

Adapted from [Jamie Cooks It Up|]

Yields: About 40 candies



Spray a large frying pan or skillet with non-stick spray. Over medium heat, toast the pecans, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 4-5 minutes, being careful not to burn the nuts.

Prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray the paper with non-stick spray. Place the pecans in clusters of three on the parchment paper, leaving an inch or so of space between each cluster. I found placing two pecans side-by-side and then one on top laying across the other two worked well and looked most like a "turtle."

In a heavy-bottomed pot (I used my enameled Dutch oven) over medium heat, melt the butter together with the brown sugar, salt, honey, and sweetened condensed milk. When the mixture is smooth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring continually with a heat-proof spoon, until the mixture reaches 234 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

Using a teaspoon, carefully spoon some of the hot caramel over each cluster of pecans (about 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of caramel on each). The caramel will begin to set up as it cools - if it gets too firm before you are done putting caramel on your clusters, just return it to the heat briefly to loosen it back up.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together in 30 second increments, stirring between each go, until smooth. In the same manner as the caramel, spoon the melted chocolate over the clusters, making a swirl in the top of the chocolate with the back of the spoon. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle each cluster with fine sea salt. Allow the turtles to cool completely and set up (they can be refrigerated to help them set up quickly). Remove from the parchment paper and store in airtight containers at room temperature or in the refrigerator.