First, toast the pecans. Toss pecans lightly in oil. You can lightly salt them too if you like!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
Place pecans on prepared baking sheet. Toast in the oven until fragrant, about 7 to 10 minutes. Pecans will be lightly browned.
In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pecans until fragrant, tossing or stirring occasionally, about 2 to 5 minutes. Pecans will be lightly browned.
Making the chocolate turtles
On a lined baking sheet create 18 small mounds of pecans, about 4-5 pecans in each mound.
Combine the unwrapped caramels and the water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir until smooth.
Spoon 2 teaspoons of melted caramel over each mound of pecans. Allow to set for 2-3 minutes before topping with melted chocolate.
Place chocolate in a bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals. I prefer to melt at 70% power so as not to scotch the chocolate. When melted or almost melted, stir until smooth.
Spoon 2 teaspoons of melted chocolate over each caramel cluster. Allow chocolate to set completely.
Instead of semi-sweet, you can use your favorite chocolate. Dark, milk, or even white chocolate will work. You can also use Candi-Quik or almond bark or those colorful candy melts.
If your chocolate gets a little thick, you can loosen it with a drop or two of coconut oil or vegetable oil.
While homemade caramel would be a fun thing to do, it will add a lot of time to this recipe. So we are using wrapped caramels instead.
Toasting pecans brings out their flavor. You can toast pecans in the oven or on the stovetop. I've provided instructions for both in the printable instructions below.
How to Store Chocolate Turtles
Turtles can be stored at room temperature and in the freezer.
Store your turtles at room temperature in an airtight container. They can be stored this way for up to 2-3 weeks. If your house tends to be a little more on the warm side, store them in the refrigerator, just bring to room temperature before serving.
You can also freeze your homemade turtles. Layer between sheets of parchment or waxed paper and store in airtight containers. Chocolate turtles can be frozen for up to 3 months.