These homemade turtles are made with five simple ingredients yet still amazingly decadent and taste just as good, if not better, than the store-bought candies. They’re also better for you!
I’m quite confident that my nanny (my grandmother on my mom’s side) introduced me to Turtles at a very young age. They are her favorite candy and she pretty much always has a box on hand. She likes to share so I’ve eaten my fair share of Turtles growing up.
The combo of crunchy pecans topped with gooey caramel and smooth, rich chocolate simply can’t be beat. I can definitely see why nanny loves them.
After seeing a few recipes for homemade turtles around the web I thought it’d be fun to make my own version — a bit healthier with Medjool dates instead of caramel and dairy-free dark chocolate chips for the chocolate. Medjools have a lovely caramel flavor and sticky consistency so I knew it would work well.
What I didn’t realize is just how easy the homemade turtles would be to make. Seriously, it’s kind of an issue because now I want to make turtles every night for dessert.
The first step involves processing the Medjool dates in a food processor (affiliate link) with a little sea salt until they form a sticky ball. You put the sticky ball into the freezer to harden up and get a bit less sticky, take it out and form a bunch of small date balls.
From there, you grab your pecans and place three on one side of the date ball — one at the top (that’s the turtle’s little head) and two at the bottom for the legs. As you add the pecans you flatten the date ball a bit…