If you are looking for an easy, yet decadent-tasting dessert then this Chocolate Pecan Turtle Clusters recipe is sure to satisfy. Made with only three ingredients, they’re the perfect sweet treat. Plus, they’re so simple to make that even novice cooks can whip them up in no time.
For Christmas, someone always gets me a box of chocolate turtles. You might be surprised how good these are. Trust me, they have become one of my favorite Christmas candy recipes and sweet snack throughout the year.
A few years ago, my sister-in-law made these chocolate, caramel, pecan, and pretzel clusters. Unfortunately, she put the goodie tray in front of me when we were playing cards. I think I ate 15 that evening. Certainly not good for my diet, but they were a bit addicting. Just had to get the recipe.
So, while these are not the authentic chocolate pecan turtle cluster you will find in the candy isle, these little gems are delectable. They are a treat for the senses with the crisp and salty pretzel topped with a sweet chocolate covered caramel and finished with a crunchy pecan. Yum.
If you have never heard of a turtle cluster, you might be wondering…
What is in a turtle cluster?
It is toasted pecans covered in a gooey caramel topped with chocolate. I am not sure what my favorite part of this yummy snack is, but I love the flavor combination and the satisfying crunch. These can be purchased in grocery stores and other markets; however, there are also lots of homemade recipes for making them.
Simple Recipe for Chocolate Turtle Clusters
Often, Chocolate Pecan Turtle Clusters Recipes call for making a homemade caramel sauce using butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. It can be tedious heating the caramel mixture to the correct temperature using the candy thermometer. This is cooled and spooned on top of toasted pecan clusters. Next is the melting of the chocolate and topping each cluster.
Good news! This recipe skips all that.
Three Ingredients for the Perfect Little Treat
This recipe is so easy that your kids can help you make it.
Pretzels. Mini pretzels work best for this. You can use the square or bow tie mini pretzel, they both work.
Pecans. I purchase pecan halves that have already been toasted. If you happen to have them and they were not toasted, make sure to toast them for best flavor and crunch. Toasting the pecans makes a huge difference in the overall nutty taste.
Rolo Candy. They come in a roll and a bag. When I know I will be making this recipe, I try and get a bag. However, one year, I could not find a bag and I purchased an entire box of the individual rolls of candy. There were 8 I think in each roll.
For me, when this candy is paired with the pecans and the pretzels, it has all the flavors of chewy homemade caramel, chocolate, toasted pecans, and a little added salty crunch from the pretzel. Truly a Holiday Favorite for me.
How to Make Pretzel Rolo Turtle Clusters Recipe
This is one of those great recipes that are so easy to make, you just might be making them year-round. They would be the perfect sweet snack for Valentine’s day, game day, brunch, or any potluck gathering. Oh, and they make delicious homemade candies as food gifts too during the Holiday season.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up or you can spray the baking sheet with non stick cooking spray.
On a large cookie sheet, arrange the pretzels in a single layer. Unwrap and place a Rolo on top of each pretzel. Place in the oven for 3 minutes. Note: do not leave the candy in the oven too long as there is a risk of the caramel chocolate being too soft and melty to work with. I will fill two large baking sheets at once for even faster candy nut cluster making.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and place a pecan half on top of each Rolo, making sure to push down just a bit.
Place the turtle candies somewhere cool.
Roasting Nuts the Easy Way
Roasting Nuts in an Oven. The easiest way is to place the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake them in an oven that has been pre heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After 5 minutes, give them a stir and toast for 5 more minutes. Allow to cool before proceeding with the recipe.
Roasting Nuts in a Sauce Pan or Large Skillet. Heat the pan up to a medium-high heat. Add a couple of cups of pecans to the skillet and spread them out in a single layer. Cook then in the pan on direct heat without any added cooking spray or butter in the pan. After approximately 10 seconds, give them a stir. Continue stirring in 10 second intervals like this for 5 to 10 minutes until the nuts are fragrant and have slightly darkened in color. You might see a few toasted looking marks on them.
How to Store Pecan Turtles
Store the turtle candy in an airtight container. Make a single layer with pieces of parchment paper or waxed paper between the next layer so the caramel does not stick together.
These little Pretzel Turtles are a delicious little sweet snack. If you are hosting a party or need to bring something to pass at a party, this is a quick make and they will be gone in an instant too.
Here are a few other snacks that we enjoy often.
Sausage and Cream Cheese Crescent Balls
Make this Peach Salsa or Mango Salsa and bring a bag of corn chips.
Bring Charcuterie Board Snacks.
Deviled Eggs are always a hit.
Chocolate Pecan Turtle Clusters Recipe
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- 11 Ounces Rolo candies 1 bag has 50 Rolos
- 50 pieces Mini Pretzels
- 50 pieces Pecan Halves Roasted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up.
- On a baking sheet, arrange the pretzels in a single layer. Unwrap and place a Rolo on top of each pretzel. Place in the oven for 3 minutes. Note: do not leave the candy in the oven too long or it will be too melted and runny to work with. I will fill two large cookie sheets at once for even faster candy nut cluster making.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and place a pecan half on top of each Rolo, making sure to push down just a bit.
- Place somewhere at room temperature or a bit cooler to let the caramel set.