These Vegan & Keto Turtles, or Keto Caramel Pecan Clusters as some people call them, are the perfect Keto Candy! They feature nuts coated in an easy and creamy keto caramel sauce and covered in chocolate - I think I'm in love!*Note- While not hard to make, please read through all the notes before starting to ensure they turn out exactly perfect 😀
Keto Sweetener to taste, I recommend xylitol, monk fruit/allulose blend, or allulose. Erythritol based sweeteners can be grainy and leave an aftertaste. Also, you can use the powdered or granulated variety. For granulated, simply add all the ingredients to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sweetener dissolves.
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until melted.
Turn heat down to a low simmer and simmer 5 minutes, or until a deep golden brown. Stir occasionally and be careful not to let it burn!
Stir in the sweetener, lakanto maple-flavored syrup, and molasses. Return to a low simmer. Then, simmer 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Again, be careful not to let it burn!
Add the coconut cream and lightly sprinkle in the xanthan gum. Stir until dissolved.
Remove from heat and stir in the pure vanilla, water, sea salt, and pecans.
Prepare one of the chocolate coating recipes below and set aside.
For chocolate coating number 1: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop Tablespoon-sized amounts of the caramel pecan mixture onto the parchment paper. Then, Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel pecans, roughly 1 to 2 teaspoon per cluster. Place in freezer for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the caramel and chocolate are set. Store, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 1 month or in the freezer up to 3 months.
For chocolate coating number 2: Line a mini muffin tin with 15 liners. Evenly divide the caramel pecan mixture between the muffin cups. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel pecans, evenly dividing between each cup. Place in freezer for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the caramel and chocolate are set. Store, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 1 month or in the freezer up to 3 months.
Chocolate Coating #1:
Place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwaveable-safe bowl. Heat for 45 seconds then stir. Heat for 20 seconds then stir again. Repeat heating in 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate chips are completely melted. If you prefer not to use a microwave, heat chocolate chips and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl over a bowl of boiling water, being careful that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir continuously until melted.
Chocolate Coating #2:
Mix together all of the chocolate coating #2 ingredients in a large bowl.
To make these turtles Paleo, simply use Paleo Caramel Sauce instead of the keto Caramel in the recipe card.
Chocolate coating #1 uses melted chocolate chips of your choice with a little oil. This version is similar to the caramel pecan clusters we all know and love!
Chocolate coating #2 uses a mixture of cocoa powder, coconut oil, vanilla, and keto sweetener. While very good, this version isn’t quite as sweet.
For coconut cream, place full-fat canned coconut milk in the fridge for 24 hours and scoop out the coagulated cream. I only recommend the Thai Kitchen, Native Forest, or Sprouts brand. Other brands may not separate as well or leave a funny aftertaste.
If you’re not dairy-free, you can replace the coconut cream with heavy whipping cream.
I highly recommend using butter, ghee, or non-dairy butter for the best taste. If the butter isn’t an option though, you can use non-hydrogenated shortening as a substitute
Whatever you do, don’t leave out the sugar-free maple syrup or the xanthan gum! These 2 ingredients are required when using an erythritol-based sweetener. Otherwise, the caramel will turn out grainy.
Don’t dump in the xanthan gum! Be sure to lightly sprinkle it in, otherwise, it will clump
While the molasses is optional, I recommend adding the molasses. ESPECIALLY if you don’t use a brown sweetener. The molasses gives it a deep caramel taste that is otherwise missing. It also covers up any “sugar-free” aftertaste
If you’re worried about adding molasses to a low-carb recipe, keep in mind that molasses is considered a low glycemic sugar. One teaspoon only adds 5 net carbs to the entire batch! It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, chromium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin b6 and more!
The nutrition facts are calculated using chocolate coating #1. I included sugar alcohol in the fiber to get an accurate net carb count. If you use chocolate coating #2, the nutritional info is as follows: Servings: 15 Serving Size: 1 TurtleCalories: 148 Carbs: 4 Protein: 1 Fat: 15 Fiber: 2 Net Carbs: 2