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.