Cashew Turtles

Cashew Turtle

“Yolande was fitting the tea cozy over the pot when I came in. There were cups on the table. I knew where her cookie plates lived, so I got one down and put my offerings on it: chocolate chip hazelnut, Jamdandies, Cashew Turtles, plus butterscotch brownies and half a dozen muffins.”
-Sunshine

Ending an extended period of experimentation and non-blog related baking, my renewed enthusiasm to tackle the forty-some remaining recipes in Sunshine has coincided perfectly with an unseasonable late heatwave. With such rare weather it seems ungrateful to blow the dust off the AC knob and turn on the oven. A day like this calls for something sweet, simple, and cool. A day like this is for making Cashew Turtles.

Ingredients
Cashew Turtle Ingredients

  • 12 soft caramels
  • 90g chocolate
  • 4 oz cashews

OR

  • 12 hard caramels
  • 1-2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 90g chocolate
  • 4 oz cashews

Optional (for flavor)

  • Sea Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper

In Defense of Buying the Caramels: The standing philosophy of this blog is to use raw ingredients and make each component within reason. Though the ingredients of caramels are simple enough, candy making is an intermediate endeavor at best. It involves a candy thermometer, impeccable timing, and coordination (splashing molten sugar on the back of your hand hurts like you would not believe). It can be worthwhile, but if you have difficulty poaching an egg flawlessly every time, trust me when I say making caramel is more difficult. And slightly over-poaching an egg doesn’t result in the smell of burnt sugar clinging to your kitchen for a week. So unless you have a beloved caramel recipe from your grandmother who also taught you how to make it, skip the stress (and annoyingly difficult clean up) and just buy some caramels.

Directions

For Soft Caramels

Preheat oven to 300F. Okay, yes, the recipe does end up using an oven, but it’s only on for a few minutes, this method is much cleaner and faster than the hard caramel method, and the blog does have the word “baking” in it.

Unwrap the the caramels and place on a piece of parchment paper. I picked up some soft caramels from Trader Joe’s that were soft at room temperature so I tossed them in the freezer for a couple minutes before unwrapping–much easier.

Caramels

Bake for 90 – 150 seconds or until the caramels have melted into small puddles.

Baking Caramels

While still hot, press cashews into the molten caramel, careful not to touch the caramel.

Cashewing Turtles

For Hard Caramels

Unwrap the caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of cream. Microwave the caramels in 15-second increments, stirring after every 15 seconds, until they’re melted. If the caramel is too thick, add more cream. Drop into pools on a piece of parchment paper. While still hot, press cashews into the molten caramel, careful not to touch the caramel.


Chop the chocolate into small pieces.

Chopped Chocolate

In microwave safe bowl, microwave in 15 second increments, stirring for 15 seconds.

Note: This is the fast and easy method of melting chocolate. The end result is not going to be properly tempered, which means it will be more prone to melting when picked up and won’t have that glossy sheen that gourmet chocolate has. French chocolatiers would be aghast, but like I said, candy making is pretty technical and you’ve got to find the balance between copper sugar pots or marble tempering tables and just buying a Snickers.

Melting Chocolate Pt. 1 Melting Chocolate Pt. 2 Melting Chocolate Pt. 3 Melting Chocolate Pt. 4 Melting Chocolate Pt. 5

Drop melted chocolate onto the turtles with a spoon, swirling at the end.

Chocolate Cashew Turtles

Optional: Let cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt.

Sea Salt Cashew Turtle

Optional Additional Fanciness:

Stir in flavoring (e.g. cayenne pepper, flavor oils) when the chocolate is fully melted. Double optional additional fanciness: Sprinkle a pinch of garnish (e.g. cayenne pepper, orange zest) after the spooned chocolate has cooled for a few minutes.

Cashew Turtle

Cashew Turtles

Ingredients

  • 12 soft caramels
  • 90g chocolate
  • 4 oz cashews

OR

  • 12 hard caramels
  • 1-2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 90g chocolate
  • 4 oz cashews

Optional (for flavor)

  • Sea Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper

Directions

Soft Caramels
Preheat oven to 300F.
Unwrap the the caramels and place on a piece of parchment paper.
Bake for 90 – 150 seconds or until the caramels have melted into small puddles.
While still warm, press cashews into the molten caramel, careful not to touch the caramel.

Hard Caramels
Unwrap the caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of cream. Microwave the caramels in 15-second increments, stirring after every 15 seconds, until they’re melted. If the caramel is too thick, add more cream. Drop into pools on a piece of parchment paper. While still hot, press cashews into the molten caramel, careful not to touch the caramel.


Chop the chocolate into small pieces. In microwave safe bowl, microwave in 15 second increments, stirring for 15 seconds. (Note: This is the fast and easy method of melting chocolate. The end result is not going to be properly tempered, which means it will be more prone to melting when picked up and won’t have that glossy sheen that gourmet chocolate has. French chocolatiers would be aghast, but like I said, candy making is tough and you’ve got to find the balance between copper sugar pots or marble tempering tables and just buying a Snickers.)

Drop melted chocolate onto the turtles with a spoon, swirling at the end. Optional: Let cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt.

Optional Additional Fanciness:

Stir in flavoring (e.g. cayenne pepper, flavor oils) when the chocolate is fully melted. Double optional additional fanciness: Sprinkle a pinch of garnish (e.g. cayenne pepper, orange zest) after the spooned chocolate has cooled for a few minutes.

Cashew Turtles

 

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