Featured Image - Recipe for Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters

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I’ve been making Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters for many years now. It’s a holiday recipe for the Christmas season and also for Valentine’s Day. Our family loves them and they make great gifts. Clusters of chewy caramel and chopped pecans covered in a delectable chocolate coating. So yummy!

Serve Caramel Pecan Clusters as a Holiday Treat

(Post modified on 12/6/23.)

You might know these candies as chocolate turtles, or similar to Chocolate Delights by Russell Stover. Of course, those are delicious, too. But this is a recipe you can make at home for a lot less money, and they are just as delightful! Plus, instead of one or two, you’ll get between 2 or 3 dozen candies!

 

Need More Chocolate Candy Recipes?

 

About the Ingredients

When shopping for the ingredients in this recipe, I like to buy my packages of caramel candies during the holiday season when they are easy to find in the stores. Check the candy isle for individually wrapped caramels, usually by Brach’s or Kraft.

Although you may use packaged whole or half pecans from the store, I try to purchase freshly harvested pecans in the fall, which I freeze for use all year. If this is not an option, go with whatever you can find. You’ll receive the best discount when buying in larger quantities. Do not buy chopped pecans, though.

For the chocolate coating, I normally go with a store brand semisweet chocolate chip and then mix it with vanilla almond bark. You may also use a higher end bittersweet chocolate and white chocolate, preferably Ghirardelli.

Fleur de sel - Finishing Seas Salt by Le Saunier de CamargueAnd finally, although this is optional, I love sprinkling just a dash of Fleur de sel finishing sea salt on the freshly coated chocolate. I buy Le Saunier de Camargue that comes in a little cardboard box with a cork lid. It’s expensive, but also delightful and worth the extra money, if you can manage it. I first discovered it when making Chocolat Chaud (French hot chocolate) and used it as a finishing garnish to the drink. The little salt crystals slowly melt in your mouth and provide just a bit of crunch. Fabulous!

Fleur de sel means “flower of salt” and is the purest form of sea salt available. It is harvested from sea water that flows to the salt marshes where it evaporates and the remaining salt crystals are collected. 

 

Ingredients for Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters

(View the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

  • caramel candies
  • evaporated milk
  • whole or half pecans, coarsely chopped
  • semisweet chocolate chips
  • white almond bark (or white chocolate)
  • Fleur de sel – finishing sea salt

 

Instructions for Making this Recipe

Ingredients for this RecipeGather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

Using a nut chopper or a knife and cutting board, chop the pecans into coarse pieces. It’s okay to leave some of the nuts intact.

 

Melt the Caramels

Unwrap Caramels and Place in BowlUnwrap the caramel candies and place in a large glass bowl. Add the evaporated milk to the caramels.

Place in the microwave and heat for 2 minutes at a time until the caramel is melted, stirring after each session. This may take 4-5 minutes.

Do not let the caramel sauce boil, or it may boil over the bowl and make a horrible mess. 

Stir Pecans into Melted CaramelOnce the caramel has melted, stir in the chopped pecans, mixing well.

Scoop Caramel onto Waxed PaperDrop by tablespoons or a 3/4 oz scoop onto the waxed paper.

I like to use a Vollrath purple scoop - Size 40 for this job so that the clusters are all about the same size. This also keeps my fingers from getting sticky! I highly recommend the stainless steel Vollrath brand, which comes in various sizes that I’ve used for many years with no trouble.

Allow to chill in the refrigerator until set, approximately 20-30 minutes.

 

Prepare the Chocolate Coating

In a medium glass bowl, combine the semisweet chocolate chips and white almond bark.

Using a butter knife or bench scraper, carefully slice the almond bark into cubes as marked.  

Heat the chocolate in the microwave for 1-2 minutes at a time until melted, stirring after each session.  This may take 3-5 minutes.

 

Assemble the Caramel Clusters

When the chocolate is ready, remove the caramels from the refrigerator. At this point, I like to press the caramels down with a spoon or my fingers to flatten them just a bit.

Use Forks to Dip Caramel into ChocolateUsing two forks or a fork and a spoon, dip each caramel into the melted chocolate, making sure to coat on all sides.

Lift the candy from the chocolate and gently tap the fork on the side of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate.

Lightly Sprinkle Fleur de sel onto the ChocolatePlace on the wax paper. Repeat with 3-4 more clusters. At this point, lightly sprinkle with Fleur de sel finishing sea salt.

I like to coat 4-5 chocolates and then sprinkle with the sea salt before the chocolate has set. This ensures that the salt will adhere to the chocolates. If you try to coat all the clusters before adding the sea salt, it will be too late.

Allow Chocolate to Fully Set before ServingAllow the chocolate clusters to cool until fully set before serving or storing.

 

On Storing Chocolates

Store chocolates in a tightly sealed container at room temperature or in a cool room. I always separate the layers with wax paper to keep the chocolates from settling on each other. They are best if eaten within 3-4 weeks before the chocolate begins to “bloom”.

Have you ever wondered why chocolates will sometimes turn white on the outside? This is simply a scientific process called “Chocolate Bloom” that occurs when the cocoa butter dissolves the sugar crystals on the chocolate’s surface. This white powdery look happens when chocolates have aged or are stored improperly. Rest assured, however, that it does not damage the taste of the chocolates!

Serve Clusters in a Pretty Candy DishTo serve, place chocolate clusters in a pretty candy dish or on a small tray. These chocolates are perfect for a Valentine’s Day Dinner or Tea Party.

This recipe will make about 24 large or 36 small candies.

View more Candy Recipes Here. Browse Chocolate Recipes Here.  See my post on Hosting a Valentine Tea Party Here.

 

Featured Image - Recipe for Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters

Our family loves Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters and they make great gifts. Clusters of chewy caramel and chopped pecans covered in a delectable chocolate coating. 
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigeration and Setting Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Serving Size 24

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Ingredients 

  • 11 oz caramel candies (Brach's or Kraft)
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 1/2 cups whole or half pecans (coarsely chopped)
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 oz white almond bark (or white chocolate)
  • 1 tablespoon Fleur de Sel - sea salt (finishing sea salt)

Instructions

  • Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  • Using a nut chopper or a knife and cutting board, chop the pecans into coarse pieces. It's okay to leave some of the nuts intact.

Melt the Caramel

  • Unwrap the caramel candies and place in a large glass bowl. Add the evaporated milk to the caramels.
  • Place in the microwave and heat for 2 minutes at a time until the caramel is melted, stirring after each session. This may take 4-5 minutes.
    (Do not let the caramel sauce boil, or it may boil over the bowl and make a horrible mess.)
  • Once the caramel has melted, stir in the chopped pecans, mixing well.
  • Drop by tablespoons onto the waxed paper using a large spoon or a 3/4 oz. scoop.
  • Allow to chill in the refrigerator until set, approximately 20-30 minutes.

Prepare the Chocolate Coating

  • In a medium glass bowl, combine the semisweet chocolate chips and white almond bark. (Use a butter knife or bench scraper to carefully slice the almond bark into cubes as marked.)
  • Heat the chocolate in the microwave for 1-2 minutes at a time until melted, stirring after each session. This may take 3-5 minutes.

Coat the Caramel Clusters

  • When the chocolate is ready, remove the caramels from the refrigerator. At this point, I like to press the caramels down with a spoon or my fingers to flatten them just a bit.
  • Using two forks, dip each caramel into the melted chocolate, making sure to coat on all sides.
  • Lift the candy from the chocolate and gently tap the fork on the side of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate.
  • Place on the wax paper. Repeat with 3-4 more clusters. At this point, lightly sprinkle with Fleur de sel finishing sea salt.
  • Allow the chocolate clusters to cool until fully set before serving or storing.
  • Store chocolate in a tightly sealed container at room temperature or in a cool, dry place. To serve, place chocolate clusters in a pretty candy dish or on a small tray.
  • This recipe will make about 24 large or 36 small candies.

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg

 

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4 Comments

    1. I know, right? These pecan clusters are so yummy! My hubby and I TRY to limit ourselves to one a night. LOL. Have fun with them!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Alice. I’m glad you are enjoying this chocolate caramel pecan recipe. I’m eager to make some up for the holidays. Maybe tonight!