Easy Turtle Bark

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This turtle bark is delicious, simple, and the perfect Christmas gift.

Very simple turtle 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.

Turtle Bark

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! πŸ™‚

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.

Easy Turtle Bark #turtle #bark #christmas #dessert

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!)

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Easy Turtle Bark

5 from 2 votes
Simple Turtle Bark #christmas
Print Recipe

Easy Turtle Bark

Simple Turtle Bark #christmas
5 from 2 votes
Author Chelsea


  • 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 and milk or cream. Place in the simmering water and stir frequently until melted. Once melted, stir in the vanilla, and then 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!


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.



Delicious and simple chewy turtle bark -- milk chocolate, caramel, and toasted pecans. Perfect gift for the holidays!


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  1. OHMYGOSH Chelsea!!! That’s SO exciting!!! I really wish I could come along in your suitcase… Christmas on the beach in the sunshine sounds really good right about now! πŸ˜‰ I went to Sydney in 8th grade, and if you can still walk up the harbor bridge (like on the railings above), it’s totally worth it. I was scared of heights and had a blast!! Anyway, I hope moving goes as smoothly as possible and you’re able to get your kitchen set up over there asap. And this bark… Please send me all of your leftovers! Pinned!

  2. Dude!! This is awesome! I’m just going to pretend you’re coming to hang out with me! πŸ˜‰

    I have a lot of family in Perth and it’s pretty quite and beautiful in Summer (now) and well…HOT. Give me a shout out if there is anything you guys need a hand with or anything about Australia haha. We are more than kangaroos (not really).

    Keep the bark in America…unless you want a chocolate waterfall.

  3. That is so exciting, Chelsea! I hope you love Australia! And my first thought was kangaroos, too! I can’t wait to hear how you like it out there! And this turtle bark looks amazing! I love how easy it is to whip up for the holidays. Perfect to give as gifts, too! Pinned!

  4. Ooo girl! That’s so exciting! πŸ˜€ I’ve always wanted to visit Australia, but the 20+ hours of travel time are holding me back. Still… I definitely plan to make it out there at some point, because I’ve heard it’s amazing. And sparking of amazing… this bark looks goooood. Pinned!

  5. 5 stars
    1-OMIGOSH! How exciting!!! Sad we didn’t get a chance to meet up first but fingers crossed that you’ll come back to OH πŸ˜› And from what I understand kangaroos are like squirrels there so you should see a bunch! But also be aware there are many giant spiders and such (Michael has family who have lived there and my bestie spent a semester there as a kid).

    2-This bark looks so simple but impressive! love that gooey caramel!

  6. How exciting….Australia! You’ll have such a great experience living there for a while…so much to see and do. I went years ago and it was wonderful. I’d love to go back! Have a safe trip. πŸ™‚ And this bark is some of the most delicious bark ever! Pinned. πŸ™‚

  7. Chelsea that’s so exciting!!! Congrats!! I’ve never been to Australia but I do know they are very into water sports so if you’re into that you’ll enjoy that. PLEASE update us with pictures! Have so much fun and enjoy the new culture. They also drive on the opposite side of the road from you (just some random information I’m throwing out there haha). Okay, the turtle bark looks yummy too! Hard to focus on it with such exciting news haha but it looks really great – love the flavour combination!

  8. That’s so exciting! I lived in Australia for nearly 2 years and it is a great country! You will definitely see a kangaroo, and there are wild dolphins living near Perth, I’m pretty sure. Perth is supposed to be gorgeous! Wish I’d had a chance to see it when I was in Australia. Well this turtle bark looks like perfection, love all those turtley flavors in there, especially that caramel. Looks divine!

  9. That’s awesome Chelsea! I am from Australia, I think you will love it here. Especially if the sun makes you happy! I would love to move to the states one day, but Australia is pretty good too πŸ˜‰
    P.S. Turtle Bark = Amazing.

  10. There are TOO MANY exciting things in this post! I was totally NOT expecting you to say Australia. That is so exciting, though!! I’ve never been out of the country either, but my parents went to Australia once and got to pet some kangaroos and koala bears. I’m sure that’s extremely touristy, but I would do it in an instant! Haha. This bark is incredible too, chocolate + caramel + pecans were meant to be together! Pinned:)

  11. Aaaw, congrats Chelsea!! That is so exciting for you and your family!!! You guys will have an awesome adventure, good luck with the move and everything and can’t wait to hear all about it once you get settled in!

  12. I am so envious. I am a summer loving gal and will take hot sunshine over clouds, rain and snow any day. We were supposed to go to Australia too in January for a business venture but it has been postponed. πŸ™ All I could think of when we were going to get to go was how much I was going to enjoy being in Summer again. Safe travels! I will have to give this turtle bark a try except with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

  13. First, Australia!? That’s amazing! I would love to live some where new, especially for a short time so we aren’t away from family for two long. Second, this bark looks amazing too. I love the turtle combo of flavors and especially with sea salt, definitely on board with that. So pretty too!

  14. How exciting is a move to Australia Chelsea. I too think of kangaroos when i hear Australia. Your absence on the blog is understandable with the move. Do what you can ahead of time, but don’t stress yourself out too much. This bark looks so yummy and I love that it is easy to make.

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