First of all, in case you didn’t know, mini pretzels are sweeping the nation. No, really—they are! All you need to do is Google “Pretzel Treats” and you’ll find quadrillions of recipes for various goodies using miniature pretzels (either square or twists) as a base. Pretzel treats are a really perfect for Christmastime because you can use different colors of sprinkles and candies to decorate them, and they’re easy treat to make with young kids. And the center of all of it is a good ol’ salty pretzel, which always makes anything sweet taste a little bit better.
A couple of days ago, I made a quick batch of turtles using mini pretzels. My good friend Jaden has a version on her website using—wait for it—Rolo candies. (See the recipe here. Fabulous!) But since I didn’t have any Rolos on standby, I just took the old school route and used caramels and melting chocolates.
These would be perfect on a tiered cake stand as part of a holiday buffet…or just wrapped in little cellophane bags and given to friends at Christmas.
Or Valentine’s Day.
Or June 11.
All you need are mini pretzels, caramels, pecans (not shown here because I’m a 44-year-old airhead) and some kind of chocolate. I used a mix I’ll tell you about in a minute, but if you have a good candy store nearby, a good milk chocolate would be perfect.
And mixing that in. I did this because even though chocolate almond bark is great for melting, the flavor doesn’t really scream “Chocolate.” And that’s probably because it isn’t really chocolate. It’s almond bark. Long story.
So basically, I used the almond bark for “filler” and spiked it with a sharper, good-quality chocolate. But this was sort of a wing-it type of thing; once again, just a good quality milk chocolate would be perfection.
Then you just need to let them set! You can do this at room temperature, but expect it to take quite awhile. Or, you can hasten it along by putting the turtles in the fridge for 30 minutes or so; just keep in mind that the caramel will be really firm—too firm to chew—when you first pull it out of the fridge.
And popped ‘em into the fridge to cool! This is just a more substantial version of the other ones and keeps the pretzel and caramel “enclosed” in chocolate. It’s also more in line with the original turtle-style candy!
Either option is just lovely. The only thing I’d change (and I added this in the printable below) is to toast the pecan halves and let them cool before making the candies. I think that would bump up the flavor even more. And as I’ve said approximately four million times already in this post, good milk chocolate is the way to go.
Here’s the handy printable.
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- 24 whole Mini-pretzel Twists
- 24 whole Individually Wrapped Caramel Squares, Unwrapped
- 8 ounces, weight Good Quality Milk Chocolate, Melted
- 24 whole Pecan Halves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place the pecan halves in a single layer on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes, shaking the pan once halfway through, until they’re lightly toasted. Remove them after they’re toasted and put them on a plate to cool.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Arrange the pretzels neatly on the pan, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped caramel. Place the pan into the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the caramels are softened (but definitely not melting.) Remove the pan from the oven.
Gently press a pecan half onto each caramel, just enough for the caramel to fill the pretzel. Set them aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. When the pretzel/caramels are cooled, remove them from the baking sheet. Spoon small dollops (1 1/2 teaspoon helpings) of chocolate all over the baking mat, then lightly drop each pretzel onto the middle of each dollop, making sure they’re centered.
Allow them to cool completely before serving (you can hasten this along in the fridge.)
Variation: Spoon a little melted chocolate all over the tops of the turtles to cover the whole thing in chocolate.