Chocolate Pecan Turtles with Date Filling & Sea Salt

It's time to make Christmas candy and cookies to give away as gifts (don't want to have these in the house!).

Who doesn't love turtles?

I love the reptiles, as well as the chocolate version with nuts and a chewy caramel center.

But who can afford to eat more than one?

This is a healthy version (who makes candy healthy?).....because the center is made w/ pureed dates! My favorite!

These are ridiculous. So good.

I used pecans and almonds and Tunisian dates instead of Medjool (because that is what I had).

I highly recommend making these.

Chocolate Nut Turtles w/ Date Filling (adapted from Food52):

10 large medjool dates, pitted (I used 14 Deglet Noir dates)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 pinch sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup water, or as needed
250 grams good quality dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher), roughly chopped (I used Trader Joes 72% dark)
3/4 cup raw pecans or almonds (or a mixture), roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fleur de sel or Maldon salt, to finish

Start by making the medjool date caramel: Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor or mini chopper. Add the maple syrup and salt, then start blending. With the motor running, add in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the coconut oil and the water as needed to make the mixture smooth. Mix until smooth and well combined, then set the mixture aside.

Line a large sheet pan w/ parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave (easier). You will have to work quickly here, so don't panic if the chocolate hardens, you can always reheat it.

Pour out 15 evenly spaced, 1/2-teaspoon dollops of chocolate onto the parchment, then spread each out gently with the back of a spoon.

To prepare the turtles, arrange the nuts in even clusters on top of each dollop of melted chocolate, overlapping the nuts to form a solid, gap-free base for the date caramel. Scoop out about 1 teaspoon of the date caramel and place it carefully on top of the clustered pecans. It's a little cumbersome, but after 2, I got the hang of it.

Pour the rest of the melted chocolate over the clusters to cover, covering the nuts and date filling completely.
Sprinkle the tops of the candies w/ some fleur de sel or Maldon salt.

Place the tray in the fridge for at least 3 hours to harden. They are best left overnight to completely harden, but sometimes you just can't wait.

These were amazing and fun to make.


Anonymous said…
Is the coconut oil essential or can another oil be substituted? Thanks!
Those are amazing confections. Yum.