These Chocolate Turtle Candies are an AMAZING, easy to make, homemade candy of crunchy pecans with a sweet caramel filling covered in dark chocolate. This is a healthy version of the classic candy, vegan and paleo.
These paleo and vegan Chocolate Turtle Candies are a fun and adorable treat to make! They are called turtle candies because they actually looked like turtles with a large, chocolate covered shell.
The original turtle candy was developed in 1918 by DeMet’s Candy Company. Today I have upgraded the recipe to be healthier by making a paleo caramel of coconut milk and coconut sugar.
I also use a high quality pure chocolate. I like Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips which are gluten free, diary free and nut free. Sometimes I use Hu Gems which are made with organic cacao, unrefined organic coconut sugar, organic fair-trade cocoa butter. I love these but they’re more expensive and harder to find.
Steps to Make Chocolate Turtle Candies
1.Start by making the caramel sauce. Here you’re going to simmer the coconut milk and coconut sugar together for 30-45 minutes until the mixture is thickened and deep caramel in color. This has to chill for about 4 hours or overnight.
2. Melt half the chocolate in a double boiler until soft but not runny. Pour 1/2 tablespoon of chocolate into circles on the parchment paper 2” apart until you have 6 circles.
Arrange 5 pecan halves onto the chocolate to look like 4 legs and a head of a turtle. Repeat to make 6 more turtles. The reason to do 6 at a time is because you want the chocolate to be soft when you put down the pecans.
Let chill in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to solidify.
3. Put 2 teaspoons of caramel onto each turtle.
4. Melt the rest of the chocolate. Top the candy with 1/2 tablespoon of chocolate. Spread to cover the caramel and connect to the bottom chocolate. Cover the center of the pecans but try and let the legs and head stick out.
They are meant to be rustic looking, so don’t worry about keeping the turtles round or about having some of the pecans poking through.
Let the turtles chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before serving.
5. For the best taste and texture, serve the turtles at room temperature.
These candies are surprisingly easy to make at home. You can double or triple the recipe so you have enough to give to family and friends as a holiday treat.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They can also be frozen for a few months.
Let them come to room temperature to serve. If they are cold the chocolate and caramel can be a little too hard.
Your friends and family will love this healthier, paleo, vegan, gluten free version of a classic candy.
If you like this recipe, try these other delicious homemade vegan, paleo candies:
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These Chocolate Turtle Candies are an AMAZING, easy to make homemade candy of crunchy pecans with a sweet caramel filling covered in dark chocolate.
- 4 ounces pecan halves (60 pieces)
- 8 ounces dark chocolate chips (Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips or Hu Gems)
- 3/4 cup paleo caramel sauce (recipe below)
For the caramel sauce:
- 1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
- 5 tablespoons organic coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
For the caramel sauce:
- To make the caramel, open your can of chilled coconut milk. Pour off 1/2 cup of the “water”. Put the solid coconut and remaining water into a blender and blend on low until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan.
- Add the coconut sugar. Heat the coconut milk and coconut sugar over medium heat, stirring to blend. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low so it is just simmering. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to avoid the sugar burning, until the mixture is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon and deep caramel in color. It will take 30-45 minutes depending on your stove.*
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours or until firm. I usually leave it overnight.
To make the Turtle Candies:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt half the chocolate in a double boiler until soft but not runny.**
- Pour 1/2 tablespoon of chocolate into circles on the parchment paper 2” apart until you have 6 circles.
- Arrange 5 pecan halves onto each round of chocolate to look like 4 legs and a head of a turtle. Repeat to make 6 more turtles.
- Let chill in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
- Melt the rest of the chocolate in the double boiler until soften. Don’t let it get too runny.**
- Put 2 teaspoons of caramel onto the center of each turtle.
- Top with 1/2 tablespoon of chocolate. Spread to cover the caramel and connect to the bottom chocolate. Cover the center of the pecans but let the legs and head stick out.
- Let the turtles chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before serving.
- For the best taste and texture, serve the turtles at room temperature.
I found Native Forest Classic got thicker faster than Native Forest Simple.
If your chocolate gets too runny, let it cool a bit or add a few more chips to thicken it up as they melt.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dessert, Snack
- Cuisine: Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free
Keywords: turtle candies, paleo turtle candies, homemade candies