Friday, January 13, 2006

Turtles- Caramel Pecan Clusters

These are fondly called Turtles because the shape and the pecans poking out makes the candy resembles little turtles.

5 cups pecan halves
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. On the baking sheets arrange 60 clusters of 4 pecan halves each with 1 inch of space between the clusters. Set aside

In a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter, Stir with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until the mixture comes to a boil (5 to 8 minutes). Wash down the sides of the pan two times with a pastry brush dipped in warm water to prevent the sugar from crystallizing.
Increase the heat to medium high, place a candy thermometer in the pan, cook the mixture until it registers 246 degrees F.(15 to 20 minutes) stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the caramel into a 2 quart mixing bowl and stir to cool slightly (about 1 minute).
Spoon a tablespoon of caramel onto the center of each pecan cluster. Let the caramel set completely at room temperature (about 30 minutes).
line 2 baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Melt and temper the chocolate. Spoon a tablespoon of chocolate over the caramel on each turtle or dip a turtle into the chocolate, coating it completely. With a fork or dipper, remove the turtle e form the chocolate, carefully shake off the excess chocolate, and turn the turtle out onto the paper. Repeat with the remaining turtles. Let it set at room temperature or chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. In a tightly covered container wrapped in several layers of aluminum foil, the candies will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator or two months in the freezer. They are best eaten at room temperature.

from~Truffles, Candies & Confections

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