All the components of a turtle candy in the form a portable hand pie! Dulce de leche and chocolate wrapped in a salted pecan crust…finger licking good!
Did you know there is a Costco in Kauai? Well, I didn’t. After we settled in our comfortable room, “can I have some water? All this humidity makes me very thirsty” uttered Sylvester. I offered him the bottle of water that was placed on the corner table of our room. While I watch my baby guzzle, I couldn’t help notice the price tag that came with the bottle. It is certainly convenient but, would probably end up spending a ridiculous amount only for water, if we were to use those bottles our entire trip.
So, back into our red rental, we drove around in search of a grocery store. Oh my! I couldn’t be more happier to see a Costco. A self proclaimed Costcoholic, I marched my way into the store and felt right at home:) While we picked up water, I started glancing through the aisles. I mean, how can I go into Costco and walk out only with what I intended to purchase? My kids always joke that if I enter Costco with 8 items on my list then I would come out with 25 😀
They stocked such unique assortment of local goodies and that included all possible macadamia nut creations. Of course, we picked up more than a few which included some chocolate covered macadamia nuts with gooey caramel. Yum!
Turtle candies are toasted pecans covered with chewy caramel and then coated with chocolate! What’s not to love? I incorporated these flavors in the form of mini pies and shared with all our friends along with other homemade sweets for Christmas. Sure got some great reviews!
The crust is a regular pie crust with a dab of less butter and ground toasted pecans incorporated into the dough. I went with delicious Mexican dulce de leche (instead of the regular caramel) and semi-sweet chocolate for the filling and a generous sprinkling of salt. A drizzle of more chocolate and dulce de leche on top to finish! I promise that you’ll lick your fingers😊
Now, coming to the recipe…..
—grind toasted pecans, flour, sugar and salt
—-mix in butter and then ice cold water to form a dough
—chill, roll, cut, fill with dulce de leche and chocolate, close, chill again
—brush egg wash, sprinkle salt and bake
—cool and drizzle with melted chocolate and dulce de leche
Love caramel and chocolate ? Check out – Brownie cookie cups with dulce de leche and salted chocolate ganache
-To toast pecans, place them on a baking sheet (in a single layer), bake in pre-heated 350 degree F (180 degrees C) oven for 5-10 minutes or until they smell fragrant and turns slightly darker in color. Cool completely
-Cold butter and water are very important for a better crust
-If you don’t own a food processor, let that not stop you from making this yummy treat. I have given both methods, choose the one that suits your convenience.
Products used in the recipe-
pecans – pecans
Dulce de leche – dulce de leche
chocolate chips – chocolate chips
1 cup toasted pecans (refer notes)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
1/2 cup ice cold water, approximate
1 – 1 1/2 cups dulce de leche
1 – 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 egg, for egg wash
1/2 teaspoon salt
To make pecan crust,
Food processor method – combine toasted pecans, flour, sugar and salt in the food processor and process for about 25 seconds, until coarsely ground. Add chunks of cold butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 10 seconds). Add water and process just until the dough holds together when pinched (begin with 6 tablepoons water and add more if needed). Transfer dough onto the kitchen counter, gather and knead gently just until it forms a ball. Divide the ball into two, shape each into a disc, wrap in some plastic wrap individually and place in the refrigerator for a few hours (up to a day), until very firm.
By hand- grind pecans in a coffee grinder or mixer or any other blender that you might have to grind nuts, until it resembles coarse sand. Combine ground pecans, flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, whisk to combine. Add chunks of cold butter and mix with your finger tips, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add water and mix just until the dough holds together when pinched ( begin with 6 tablepoons water and add more if needed). Transfer dough onto the kitchen counter, gather and knead gently just until it forms a ball. Divide the ball into two, shape each into a disc, wrap in some plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a few hours (up to a day), until very firm.
To make turtle hand pies,
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each disc into 10-11 inch circle (keep the dough moving between each roll to ensure that it does not stick to the counter). Cut 24 x 3-inch circles (from both pieces of dough) with a cookie cutter (re-roll scraps to get 24). Place 12 circles on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly.
Place about 2 teaspoons of dulce de leche in the centre of each disc and then followed by about a scant tablespoon of chocolate chips. Top crusts with remaining 12 circles and gently press the edges with your finger tips to seal or press with the back of a fork to get a decorative edge.
Place baking sheet in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours (up to a day).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
Mix egg plus 1 teaspoon of water with a fork.
Remove baking sheet from refrigerator, brush the tops with prepared egg wash and sprinkle salt. Place baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
Place pan on a wire rack to cool.
Serve mini pies hot / warm / room temperature.
Optional step, place remaining chocolate chips in a small microwavable bowl, and microwave until melted. In a seperate bowl, warm remaining dulce de leche in the microwave, until spreadable consistency. Drizzle melted chocolate and dulce de leche over the pies.
Don’t like circles, cut into squares or cut bigger squares and place filling in the middle and fold into triangles and bake. Even heart shapes for Valentine’s day ❤️❤️❤️
Makes 12 mini pies