Pecan Turtles for Purim and/or Valentine's Day
A confection that will guarantee to impress! Creamy, chewy caramel, studded with chopped pecans and lovingly wrapped in chocolate.
Make these, and you'll never buy those fundraising turtles again. Speaking of fundraisers ... now if I could only perfect those Girl Scout Shortbread cookies ...
Yield: about 40 turtles
Cooking spray (if using)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. table salt
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 to 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (14 oz. pkg.) milk or light chocolate melting wafers
Line a large cookie sheet with a silicone baking sheet or with aluminum foil. If using foil, evenly coat with cooking spray; set aside.
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and salt, then stir in corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk. Continue to stir until sugar is dissolved, then cook, stirring occasionally in the center only (to avoid crystallization on the pan sides), until temperature registers 245F with a candy thermometer, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat; immediately stir in pecans and vanilla. Spoon out teaspoonfuls of the hot mixture onto prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. If the mixture spreads, wait until cool to the touch, then fold the flat caramel over on itself. Don't worry about any lumpiness; that's what gives the turtles their visual charm.
When the naked turtles have cooled, melt chocolate wafers as per manufacturer's directions. Using a fork (or make a dipping fork by taking a cheap plastic fork and bend the middle tines back and forth until they break off), dip each turtle into melted chocolate, then return to baking sheet.
After chocolate has set, transfer turtles to a covered container, separating layers with wax or parchment paper.