I used my homemade caramel recipe for these clusters. I only made half a batch of caramel, as the ingredients below indicate. I’ve got to think about my health you know. Consuming 80 Turtle Clusters could kill a person. Dead. Dead as a door nail! However, if are making Turtle Clusters for the masses please feel free to double this recipe. It will turn out very well.
I love those recipes that we all grew up with, they are just too good to miss out on.
WHAT YOU NEED :
– 2 to 1/2 C of pecans
– 1/2 C of butter (preferably salted)
– 1 C of brown sugar
– 1/2 C of light corn syrup
– (1/2 of a 14 ounce can) of condensed milk, sweetened
– 1/2 t of vanilla
– 1 (12 ounce) package of milk chocolate chips
– 1/2 t of shortening (Preferably butter flavored Crisco)
1. Into a large skillet, toss 2 to 1/2 cups of pecans. And please toast them over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until they have darkened just a bit and smell fragrant and wonderful, about a few minutes.
2. Next, line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray. Immediately arrange your pecans into clusters, three to a group works well. Please leave some space (about an inch) between each cluster.
3. Prepare the caramel. Pick a medium-sized sauce pan and place into 1/2 C of butter and melt it over medium high heat. Then add 1 C of brown sugar, 1/2 C of light corn syrup and 7 ounces of sweetened condensed milk to the pan and increase the heat just a bit and stir it continually. Make sure to cook and stir until it reaches 235 to 240 degrees. Once it reaches about 234 degrees, you may want to remove it from the heat. Actually, it will continue to rise in temperature just a bit even without the direct heat, making the caramel just the right texture.
4. Once done, stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
5. Okay now, you can drizzle (carefully) about 1 to 1/2 teaspoons of caramel over each nut cluster. It’s wise to work quickly, as the caramel will begin to set up. Always make certain that there is caramel touching all of the nuts in your cluster. That’s right, the caramel works like glue, sticking the nuts together.
6. Pour 12 ounces of milk chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each cooking interval.
7. At this point, add 1/2 teaspoon of shortening to the melted chocolate and then let it to sit for 1 or 2 minutes (so it can melt and make the chocolate chips more spreadable). You’d best stir it all together.
8. Immediately, spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of melted chocolate over the top of the caramel and nuts. You may want to swirl it around along the top making a pretty swoop with your spoon.
9. At the end, let the chocolate to set up. Now that it has hardened and cooled, serve them immediately, or transfer them to an air tight container.