I’m within the 10 day Christmas Countdown window, so the list-making has begun in earnest. I’ve got three lists on my kitchen table right now. One is labeled “Dinner Menus”, the second “Christmas Baking”, and the third “Grocery List” to make sure I have the items for lists one and two.
At some point this week I’m making sausage balls, spiced almonds, white chocolate covered almonds (my California uncle sent me three pounds of almonds for Christmas – I’ll be making almond recipes until the cows come home), fudge, and gingerbread cookies. I’m also eyeing some recipes for hot dips (mmm.. crab, anyone?) that I can make a day or two ahead and reheat so that I’m not in the kitchen all day on my birthday prepping for the snack/appetizer supper we always have after the Christmas Eve services at church. I still haven’t decided on a dinner plan for Christmas Day, but I think I’m going to do beef of some sort and send Mr. CPQ outside to the smoker to prepare it.
The single most important Christmas candy has already been crossed off the to-do list. While I was home visiting my folks, my mom encouraged me to go ahead and make my turtles so that I’d have one less thing to do when I came back to North Carolina. They’re my annual gift to the neighbors, and they love them so much that they’ve begun asking me early in the month if I’ve made them yet. I thought I’d share the recipe with you since they’re super quick and easy to make and delicious to boot.
And I went all Pioneer Woman on you and included pictures.
44 Kraft Caramels, unwrapped
1 tablespoon evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans (more if you’re a nut freak)
chocolate almond bark for coating
Unwrap the 44 caramels and place inside a microwave safe bowl, add the tablespoon of evaporated milk, and start the microwave at 1 minute, adding 30 second increments until the caramels melt.
And take a moment to admire my mother’s clean microwave.
While the caramels melt in the microwave, rough chop your pecans.
Stir the caramel until it’s smooth, then add the pecans, stirring to combine.
Using either two spoons (or a spoon and well-buttered fingers), scoop out spoonfuls of the caramel pecan mixture and drop onto parchment paper.
This part can be tricky because the caramel is hot. Be careful.
Or don’t be careful and walk around with burned fingers.
If you want to be extra sure the candy will come up, rub the parchment paper with butter. I usually just let them cool for a good five minutes and they peel right off.
Your nekkid turtles should look like the following picture.
At this point, you can do one of two things. If you’re chocolate averse or have friends that are allergic to chocolate, you can stop and just eat them as they are OR you can continue to the enrobing process to make them official turtles.
Again, the clean microwave. I am so adopted….
Plunk your cooled nekkid turtle into the melted chocolate…
Roll it around until it’s covered, pick it up with a fork and let the excess chocolate drain off…..
Place it on parchment paper and let it sit/set for about 15 minutes.
That’s it! You’re done.
See how easy that was?
Now, hide them from your children.
Have a nice day.