8 ounces walnut halves
12 ounces of candy (no wrapper)
1 tablespoon water
12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chunks
sea salt, if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place walnut halves on baking tray; Transfer to oven and bake about 8-10 minutes until toasted and fragrant. (Alternatively, you can add them to a hot nonstick skillet, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 5 minutes.)
Line two baking trays with parchment paper (which can also be placed in the refrigerator or freezer). Make 18 small mounds, about 5 pecan halves in each, depending on their size. (Overlap some of the pecans to reduce the gaps, otherwise the caramel will leak.)
Add the caramel and water to a microwave-safe bowl (make sure there is no debris or moisture on it) and heat in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring each time until completely melted and mixed. (The first few times you try to stir, it seems impossible, but eventually they will soften and you will be able to stir them until they are soft. The caramel will become liquid the first time it is combined, but it will harden a bit. It cools down)
Once your caramel is ready, quickly place 2 teaspoons of hot caramel on the bunches, making sure each walnut is covered in caramel. Don’t worry about them being perfect, just work quickly before the caramel begins to cook.
Let the caramel sit for a bit to firm up, then add the chocolate later. Simply melt the chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl (make sure there is no debris or moisture on it) in the microwave at medium power, stirring every 30 seconds. Then pour 2 teaspoons on top of each turtle.
Sprinkle a little sea salt on top if you use it.
Let the turtles freeze at room temperature (this will take many hours) or place them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or in the freezer for 15).
For best flavor and texture, serve the turtles at room temperature.