This turtle bark is delicious, simple, and the perfect Christmas gift. PLUS a cute free printable to accompany this bark!
Okay SO I have some pretty exciting news to share…. And since this recipe is pretty easy and I tried to be very detailed in the instructions, we’ll talk news first. I’m never good at leading into things so I’ll just say it: we are MOVING TO AUSTRALIA!
The news came just last week that the husband’s company will be moving us out there for a bit. It’s nothing permanent, just for a few months and then we’ll be back in the states (probably around April-ish). We are heading out to visit family this Friday…as in two days from now and then we’ll make the very long flight out to Perth which is where we will be staying.
I’ve actually never left the country so I had to get a passport this past week. And um…expediting passports are never a fun thing to pay for – holy cow they are expensive! 🙂
We are pretty excited for this adventure. I’m also not totally sure what to expect… I mean, when I heard Australia, my very first thought was kangeroos. Am I the only one that thinks that when hearing Australia? I know I’m weird, but gosh they are cute and I hope I see a few. Also, I’ve already downloaded Perth into my weather app and let’s just say, I’m not going to be complaining that it’s their summer time right now! Seeing that sun symbol (verses the cloud/rain symbol I’m used to seeing) may have made me a little giddy. Okay, I was giddy. I mean clearly; could this post be anymore all over the place?!
Okay enough about Australia although I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot about it soon! AND I apologize in advance if posts slow down for a bit as we are moving and getting settled. I’ve been working very hard to get lots of posts scheduled and recipes created before leaving, but I’m sure there will be some absence on the blog.
Now let’s talk turtle bark! So this isn’t your typical bark and takes a bit longer to harden/set-up than most, but it is so worth the wait. The caramel stays soft and the chocolate kind of does too – it’s not a hard bite at all which I love. The toasted pecans and chocolate pair so well and add a nice crunch to the soft caramel. I decided to melt both the chocolate and caramel on the stovetop which was quite simple and didn’t take too long. However, you could try doing both in the microwave just make sure to be patient and take it slow with melting both the chocolate and caramel to avoid burning or scorching.
Also you all know how I love my salt + chocolate. If you are a fan you’ll love it. If not, it’s fantastic with out the salt too (and how the husband prefers it!)
And don’t forget the free printable you can download right after the recipe. It’s the perfect size to staple or attach to the top of a standard sized zip-lock bag!
Easy Turtle Bark
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 and 3/4 cups milk chocolate chips
- 12 caramels
- 3/4 tablespoon whole milk or heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips optional topping
- Sea salt optional topping
Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
To optionally roast the nuts (TONS of flavor and highly recommended, follow steps 3-5 . Otherwise skip to step 6)
Place a large frying pan on the stove top and turn to medium high heat.
As soon as the pan has warmed up, spread the nuts evenly in the pan. (No need to add any oil or cooking spray because the nuts already have enough oil to be able to be roasted)
Stir often until the nuts begin to smell fragrant. Remove from heat and the pan (don't leave them in the pan or they will continue to cook) and set aside. Watch the nuts carefully because they can go from perfect to burned very quickly.
Meanwhile fill up a shallow pan about 2 inches high with water on the stovetop. Warm the water on medium heat until very warm. (Reduce the heat to low as you add the chocolate.)
Place the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl or another small pan and place the bowl with the chocolate on top of the barely simmering water in the other pan.
Stir near constantly until a smooth chocolate is formed and it is completely melted and then remove it from the heat. (Don’t let water come in contact with the chocolate, and be sure the bowl and spoon or spatula are perfectly dry.)
Stir the toasted pecans into the melted chocolate and smooth evenly in the prepared 8 x 8 pan.
Quickly rinse and completely dry the chocolate bowl and add in the caramels, whole milk or heavy cream, and vanilla. Place in the simmering water and stir frequently until melted. Once melted, pour and spread evenly over the chocolate and pecan mixture.
If desired, melt the remaining 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips (on the stovetop or in the microwave). Pour the melted chocolate into a small plastic bag and cut off the tip. Pipe the melted chocolate over the caramel layer in stripes.
If desired top with sea salt.
Allow the bark to harden at room temperature. It takes a bit longer to harden than typical bark, but avoid placing it in the fridge. It also won't be super hard like typical bark because there is caramel in it, so it is a "chewier" softer bark which is delicious!
Want a free printable for this bark?! Simply click: Turtle Bark Printable to download the document that has the following image in a size perfect to staple to a standard sized zip-lock bag. Print it off on some cardstock and fold it over a bag filled with this delicious bark. 🙂
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