Carmel Turtles


1 1/3 cups pecan halves
18 squares caramel candies, individually wrapped
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Slice or break pecan halves lengthwise to make slivers for the four feet, head, and tail.  For each turtle, arrange 6 nut pieces in a star formation

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on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Unwrap on caramel square and cut it in half.  Set one half on top of the cluster of nut pieces.  Without disturbing the arrangement, place the tray of turtles in the oven for about 3 to 4 minutes, watching carefully so the nuts don't burn.  The caramels will melt onto the nuts, creating the turtle's shell.  Remove the tray from the oven and set a few chocolate chips on top of each caramel.  Return to the oven for a few seconds to melt the chocolate.  You can spread out the melted chocolate with the back of a spoon if you wish.  Remove the foil with the candies on it from the baking sheet and allow the turtles to cool completely.

Makes 36 turtles.

I LOVE turtles.  For gifts, turtles can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and tied with ribbon or stored in single layers between waxed paper in a decorative tin or box.  Write on your label: Caramel Turtles.  Store in a cool, dry place.

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