How to Keep Caramel Soft When Making Turtles

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Melt caramels for turtles slowly to avoid scorching.
Melt caramels for turtles slowly to avoid scorching. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

If you've ever indulged in the candy confection known as turtles, you may have wondered how the caramel stays soft. Turtles are traditionally made with pecans, meant to represent turtle feet and a head. Caramel and then chocolate are poured on top of the pecans, creating a turtle-like look. Although there are many variations of candy turtles, all contain soft, gooey caramel that stays soft long after they are made. Keeping the caramel soft requires proper preparation, as well as proper storage after making the turtles.

Things You'll Need

  • Double boiler
  • 30 to 35 wrapped caramels
  • 14 oz. condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Wooden spoon
  • Wax paper
  • Plastic container

Preparing Caramel

Fill the bottom pot of a double boiler with water.

Combine about 30 caramels with a 14 oz. can of condensed milk and 1/2 cup of butter in the top pot of a double boiler.

Melt the caramels over low heat, stirring frequently to combine the caramels with the milk and butter. Adding milk and butter to the caramels is what helps to keep the caramel soft after the turtles are finished.

Prepare your turtles according to the recipe you have while the caramels are still melting, and use the caramel while it is still hot.

Turtle Candy Storage

Allow the turtle candy to cool at room temperature. The caramel should still be soft after cooling.

Place the cooled turtles in an airtight plastic container, separating layers with wax paper.

Store the turtles container in a cool, dry place such as a pantry. Placing them in the refrigerator will cause the caramel to harden slightly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a slow cooker to melt the caramels. A slow cooker melts the caramel at such a low heat there is little chance of burning, and it helps to maintain a steady heat while you are creating the turtles.
  • Using pre-made caramels saves times and avoids the possibility of overcooking the caramel, causing it to become brittle and hard.
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