Island Sea Turtles
A scrumptious tropical version of the classic candy, each 'turtle' boasts a caramel 'body' laced with toasted coconut, macadamia nut 'feet and head' and a bittersweet chocolate 'shell'.
12 ounces dry roasted and salted macadamia nuts
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place macadamia nuts in 36 clusters of 4 to 7 nuts each, 2 inches apart; set aside.
- Toast coconut in oven for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Pulse in food processor or chop into shorter strands.
- Butter the inside of a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Melt 1/2 cup butter over low heat. Add sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk; mix well. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil, stirring frequently until mixture reaches 244°F (120°C) on a candy thermometer.
- Remove saucepan from heat, stir in vanilla and coconut. Cool slightly; spoon a tablespoon of coconut caramel over each nut cluster; cool completely.
- Place chocolate in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave 30 seconds on high, stir and continue to microwave in 10 to 20-second intervals, stirring after each. Chocolate should be smooth, but not warm. Dip tops of caramel-nut clusters in chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in refrigerator to set chocolate.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature, separating layers with wax paper for up to 1 week.
Makes about 2 to 2 1/2 dozen.
Tip: To prevent the formation of sugar crystals in the caramel, wash down the sides of pan using a pastry brush dipped in water.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.