Chocolate, Caramel and Walnut Turtles


How old were you when you stopped receiving Easter baskets? I’m proud to say I was 18, and not an Easter goes by where I don’t miss those hollow chocolate bunnies, Peeps, little nail polishes and a $20 bill tucked into the fake grass. The thing I love about being all grown up now, though, is that I know how to make my own Easter candy!


Chocolate turtles are one of my favorite sweet treats ever. The creamy caramel mixed with crunchy pecans (or in this case, walnuts), coated with a sweet, decadent layer of milk chocolate… mmm! Against turtles I am powerless.

Chocolate Turtles Recipe

They’re actually pretty simple to make, too. Just arrange the nuts on a baking sheet, make your caramel and pour it over. Wait while it hardens a little, then drip a tablespoon of melted chocolate over each little cluster. Once the candy is set, you’re ready to munch away!

Caramel Walnut Turtles

If you prefer pecans, use pecans. If you prefer dark chocolate, go right ahead. Make them to your taste! Sprinkle on some fleur de sel, melt them and serve them over ice cream, give them away to friends and family (if you have the self control). Or do like I do, and share with no one! Just kidding. I gave my husband a bite.

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PrintPrint Recipe

Chocolate, Caramel and Walnut Turtles

Yield: Makes about 35 turtles


4 tablespoons butter, cut up, plus more for pans

3/4 pound walnut halves (about 3 1/2 cups), toasted

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (recommended: Crisco)

Equipment needed:

Candy thermometer


Generously butter 2 baking sheets. On the baking sheets, arrange the nut halves in snowflake-shaped clusters, leaving 2 inches of space between each.

In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the evaporated milk, the corn syrup, and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk and the 4 tablespoons butter, and cook, stirring constantly, until it reaches the soft ball stage (as noted on thermometer), 240 degrees F. Stir in the vanilla and remove from the heat. Let cool to 200 degrees F.

Using a tablespoon, spoon caramel on top of each nut cluster and let harden. (If the caramel becomes too stiff to pour, return to low heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until it returns to the proper consistency.)

To make the chocolate coating, in the top of a double boiler or in a metal bowl set over barely simmering water, combine 6 ounces of the chocolate and the shortening. Melt over low heat, stirring, until it reaches 116 to 118 degrees F, or feels fairly warm but not hot to the touch.

Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate. Continue stirring until the chocolate reaches 80 degrees F or feels cool to the touch. Return to low heat and cook, stirring, until the temperature rises to 85 to 87 degrees F, or feels barely cool. Remove from the heat.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon of tempered chocolate over each cluster. Set aside in a cool place to harden. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, with waxed paper separating the layers to prevent sticking.



44 Responses to “Chocolate, Caramel and Walnut Turtles”

  1. #
    thecompletecookbook — April 22, 2011 @ 11:20 am

    I loved the your last line before the recipe:
    “Or do like I do, and share with no one! Just kidding. I gave my husband a bite.”
    After seeing these turtles, it’s easy to understand why.
    :-) Mandy

  2. #
    Jenn — April 22, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

    I think the only reason my mom still doesn’t do an Easter basket for me is because I live in a different state!!! LOL
    LOVE the turtles…when I was a kid, my mom had this client (she’s a tax accountant) who would bring her a box of turtles every year he came to have his taxes done. I used to think they were so gross….then I actually tried one :) YUM!

  3. #
    Angie's Recipes — April 22, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

    Those chocolate turtles look so amazing!

  4. #
    Blog is the New Black — April 22, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    Gorgeous pics, great recipe!

  5. #
    Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 — April 22, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    My mom still sent me Easter baskets (boxes) when I was in college, lucky girl that I am. Now I buy/make myself Easter treats which is still pretty fun in my mind. These turtles are so beautiful, and so simple. I love it.

  6. #
    Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} — April 22, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

    Oh yes please! I will take an order to go! I would pay good money for a batch of these!! Thanks for sharing! ♥- Katrina

  7. #
    My Wooden Spoon — April 22, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    Oh my goodness, these look amazing. Can’t wait to try them myself!

  8. #
    Dana @MyCherryPie — April 22, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

    These look amazing and sound so simple. I’ve bookmarked them for the near future!

  9. #
    Reeni — April 22, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    What lovely little treats! My family would love these homemade goodies for Easter. We used to get nail polish in our baskets too. Happy Easter!

  10. #
    Pam — April 22, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    I am afraid that I would eat the whole batch if I made these tasty treats. Mmmmmmm.

  11. #
    Sinful Sundays — April 22, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

    Everything you make always looks so dainty and prettyful. These look great! :)

  12. #
    Nami @ Just One Cookbook — April 22, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

    Hi Georgia! I didn’t know this sweets are called Turtles, but this has to be one of my top3 sweets (and I didn’t even know the name)! Plus, I didn’t know it’s so easy to make. It gets too dangerous if it’s easy to make…but thanks for sharing. I need one with dark chocolate. Happy Easter!

  13. #
    Lindsey — April 22, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

    Oh yummy!! I wish I could wake up to an Easter basket full of these goodies. :) Can’t wait to try them!

  14. #
    Stephanie — April 22, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

    I’ve never had a homemade turtle, but I can only imagine how delicious they are! Yours look sooo good!

  15. #
    marla — April 22, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    Georgia, sounds like you have more than made up for those store bought Easter baskets. Taking control over your own candy stash is a fun thing to do! Happy Easter to you and your family. I hope that bunny still brings you a surprise :) xo

  16. #
    Artizone — April 22, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

    These look delicious! Adults deserve gourmet Easter treats, too. This gave us the idea of using food coloring in white chocolate to create pastel colored versions for Easter. Thank you for sharing and we look forward to see what you post next!

  17. #
    baking.serendipity — April 22, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

    Even though I’m married and have moved away from home, my parents (and in-laws!) still send my husband and I Easter baskets :) Still, they wouldn’t stop me from making this candy…it looks amazing!

  18. #
    Katie @ This Chick Cooks — April 22, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

    These look so yummy! I can see why someone might not want to share ;)

  19. #
    Allison — April 22, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

    Try maple sugared pecans with bourbon caramel and dark chocolate with a little fleur de sel

  20. #
    Sonia — April 22, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

    Hi There, This is looking absolutely delightful. Very nicely made and presented. Its always fun to see ur appetizing recipes. Saving this recipe of urs and wud love to give ur version a try on the coming weekend. Have a great day !!!

  21. #
    ladymorgiana — April 22, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

    Those look so amazing! What a great idea for small treat! I’m surely keeping those in mind for next time! Thank you for sharing

  22. #
    warmvanillasugar — April 23, 2011 @ 7:13 am

    I love turtles! I love how fun this recipe looks to make. I’m excited to try :)

  23. #
    Dishes of Mrs. Fish — April 23, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    These turtles look fantastic! :) Although I no longer get an Easter basket, my sweet grandma still gives us each $10 for Easter. :)

  24. #
    Barbara Bakes — April 23, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

    My 26-year-old and her husband stayed at my house last year so she wouldn’t miss her Easter basket. lol I’m sure my entire family would love your turtles.

  25. #
    Audrey Ellen @ My Scene and Herd — April 23, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    I love the meaty-ness of walnuts, they are so dense. I love how you used them here because I think they are often forgotten about in candies in favor of pecans or almonds.

  26. #
    Leslie — April 23, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    OMG> Turtles are my favorite candies of all times!!! YUM

  27. #
    wendyweekendgourmet — April 23, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

    Yummy! I love these…so pretty, and homemade is always so much better and fresh!! Happiest of Easters, Georgia!!

  28. #
    Spoon and Chopsticks — April 23, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

    Wow, that’s something… Looks delicious.

  29. #
    Lisa — April 23, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

    Those turtles look exquisite. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I’d like to invite you to stop by and link your turtles up.

  30. #
    Michelle Benoit (Chocolate Central) — April 24, 2011 @ 5:11 am

    I’m wondering if there is a healthier substitute for corn syrup. I love turtles and would love to try to make them. Your turtles look extra delicious. Congratulations on making the Top 9 on Foodbuzz.

  31. #
    Victor — April 24, 2011 @ 5:25 am

    Homemade turtles, that’s lovely treat! It must taste really delicious!

  32. #
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs — April 24, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

    I think that turtles are one of the most deliciously addictive candies – and homemade is probably even more so! I think I was a bit younger when I stopped getting something for Easter, but now I just reminisce through my children.

  33. #
    Roxan — April 24, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

    Mmm… all I saw was fleur de sel. I love salted sweets! Chocolate turtles would be amazing with a little fleur de sel sprinkled on top. I have some that I haven’t used in a while. thanks for reminding me!

  34. #
    Sandra — April 24, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    Ohhh those look wonderful..I wanted to write that last night but my computer got bit crazy :))
    Congrats on top 9!!!

  35. #
    claire — April 25, 2011 @ 3:41 am

    my mom would DIE for these! they are too cute and look amazing!

  36. #
    Bakergirl — April 25, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    I love your photos! These look amazing and the fact that I have all the ingredients for these is so dangerous. Would it be wrong to make these for lunch?

  37. #
    Maria — April 26, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    You had me at walnuts! I love these little treats!

  38. #
    Min {Honest Vanilla} — April 27, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    Oh this I must try :) It’s always nice to create something store-bought with loads of your very own favourites :)

  39. #
    amy grace — May 3, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

    wow. these look amazing.

  40. #
    Anonymous — July 2, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

    Hi Georgia, first of all congrats on your blog!!!! I love it!
    I wonder if you can tell me the diference between a candy thermometer an a regular one?

    Greetings from Mexico!

  41. #
    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking — July 2, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    I just meant a standard ovenproof or meat thermometer like this one:–34786/thermometer.asp

  42. #
    42 — February 8, 2012 @ 1:49 am

    How soft is the caramel when it sets up. I was thinking about trying to making snickers, would the caramel be too stiff?

  43. #
    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking — February 8, 2012 @ 3:54 am

    If you’re trying to make Snickers, then I would suggest finding and following a recipe for them to achieve just the right consistency.

  44. #
    Fiona — July 8, 2012 @ 8:19 am

    I live in Australia, born in Scotland and have never heard of Turtles….. I will definitely be making these sometime soon. Corn Syrup is difficult to get here, so I goggled a substitute and it seem glucose syrup will do… acn t wait ti try them but also worried I may not stop at one!!

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