christmas turtles


It appears that Nestlé Chocolate Turtles are a Canadian Christmas favorite. The aisles at the Post Office are lined with boxes of the chocolate treats, ready to address and post as-is to family and friends by way of Christmas greeting.

Although I’ve never enjoyed a turtle myself, I have watched as friends receive them in the mail during Christmas and, heck they look good. A quick read of ingredients and I was quickly put off tasting one myself. However, the temptation for roasted pecans, thick caramel and rich, dark chocolate all in one bite, is strong.


These are INCREDIBLY simple and a very effective Christmas gift for New Zealanders and Canadians alike.


Dulce De Leche

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Peel the label off the can and place it in a pot, covered with water so that it is completely submerged. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, reduce to low, and simmer for 2 – 3 hours (the longer it simmers, the thicker it will be)

Keep an eye on it and top up the water as needed to make sure that the can stays completely covered the entire time. Don’t let this scare you but, there is danger of the can exploding if no longer submerged. Once the 3 hours are up, remove the pot from the heat and let the can cool completely in the water – overnight.

Melted chocolate

200g dark (good quality) chocolate

Break or cut chocolate finely. Place in bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir well and microwave again for 30 seconds. Stir well and continue to microwave in 10 second bursts until mostly melted. Stir until smooth and let cool.

Toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Arrange whole pecans on a baking tray in a single layer and place in oven. Bake for 5 – 7 minutes until pecans begin to brown and smell toasty.


Spoon a little melted chocolate onto baking paper and spread into a flat disk. Repeat 6 – 8 times (you should have enough to make 8 but play it by ear in case you run out of chocolate). Arrange four toasted pecans ontop, pressing gently into the chocolate disk and arranging them like turtle legs (clearly I didn’t realise the point was to make turtle legs during my first round, pictured above..). Dollop on a tablespoon of caramel and sprinkle over a little sea salt if desired (to make the nuts pop!). Finally, pour on a little more melted chocolate and, using the back of a spoon, spread to cover pecans and caramel.

turtle being topped

Wrap up and send off to a loved one.


Or dig in to nutty, gooey, chocolaty goodness.


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