Salted Caramel Dreamboats and Turtles

>> Sunday, December 9, 2012

When I worked with my Grandma in her cake and candy-decorating store, every once in a while she'd tell me stories about her childhood and her courtship with my Grandpa Jim. They met during World War II when he was visiting a friend in the hospital in California, and fell in love there. They weren't very demonstrative about their love, but sometimes in the middle of twirling a perfect frosting rose onto a slip of waxed paper, she'd stop her ever-busy hands and look off into space.

"He was a dreamboat," she said. "He looked just like Errol Flynn. And his moustache...!"

Then she'd shake away the thought with a smile, and go on making roses for someone's wedding cake. I remember her hands were always soft from working with frosting and chocolate, and her bakery always smelled like a child's dream of heaven.

Grandma used this candy recipe to make both pretzel dreamboats and chocolate turtles. She gave us extra turtles every year because she knew that they were my Mom's favorite candy. I adore them both.

To make turtles, replace each pretzel with two whole cashews or pecans. Make sure the chocolate drips all the way to the nuts so that the piece holds together. You can skip the sea salt if you wish.


1 pkg milk or dark chocolate chips
30 little pretzel twists or squares (60 whole pecans or cashews)
2/3 pound block caramel, or 30 firm caramel cubes (like Brachs)
1 tbsp coarsely ground sea salt


Melt the chocolate slowly in a double boiler or microwave until smooth and very runny.

Place the pretzels on a cookie sheet lined with foil.

Using clean kitchen shears or scissors, cut 1" square pieces of caramel and press them into button shapes with your fingers. Press onto the top of the pretzels or nuts.

Swirl 1 tsp of chocolate on top, allowing some to drip down over the caramel and pretzels or nuts. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the chocolate before it hardens.

Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before boxing or wrapping the candies and refrigerating them.

Makes 30 candies.


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