Chocolate Caramel and Pecan Turtle Clusters






Chocolate Caramel and Pecan Turtle Clusters

Ingredients:
  •     2 1/2 C pecans
  •     1/2 C butter (I use salted)
  •     1 C brown sugar
  •     1/2 C light corn syrup
  •     7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1/2 of a 14 ounce can)
  •     1/2 t vanilla
  •     1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips
  •     1/2 t shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on); set aside 36 pecans on baking sheet. Finely chop remaining pecans (for about 1/4 cup); set aside. 
  2. When pecans are cool enough to handle, make 12 clusters by arranging 2 pecans vertically, side by side, below 1 pecan placed horizontally. Gently flatten each caramel; place 1 on top of each cluster. Bake clusters 5 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on).
  3. Place 1 piece of chocolate on top of each cluster. Return to oven; bake until chocolate begins to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven.With the back of a spoon, gently spread chocolate over caramel without completely covering it.
  4. Sprinkle clusters with reserved chopped pecans. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Bring to room temperature before serving.
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