Turtle Bark

Mouthwatering? I think so. It’s hard to resist a chocolate and caramel pairing especially one in which the caramel has a deep almost burnt caramel flavor. Along with the flavor the soft and creamy caramel lends a hand towards giving a textural break to the soft snap of the rich chocolate and the crisp crunch of the deeply toasted pecans.

Turtle Bark

Yes, I’m kinda bark crazy right now, aren’t I? If you are a regular reader, than you know when I get caught on a run of something you will probably see a few variations. I can’t help it. My mind starts to rush ideas at me with the speed of an Indie car racer pedaled down on a straightaway.

And it seems the only way to calm this maniac state is to work through most of the ideas. If not, the ideas flip back and forth in my head and I’m left wondering will it work, how will it work, and most importantly—how will it taste.

Well I’m happy to share, this turned out really well. Here’s the thing-I love making candy bark because it’s so easy and all I need to think about when I’m creating one is finding components that will break up the texture and flavor. Aside from that, candy bark always makes for great gift giving-so it’s a perfect thing to add to your holiday baking arsenal.

A few notes:

  • Toast your nuts for best flavor extraction.
  • For the caramel cook it until it is a deep amber in color, as it will impart more flavor than pulling it off when the sugar just turns a light amber. For a step-by-step picture tutorial to making homemade caramel click here.
  • Make sure the Turtle Bark is nice a cold when cutting for clean even edges.
  • Use at least 65% cacao as the anything less will melt too fast in the hands of those eating it.
  • You will have more caramel then you need, so keep the leftover in a jar to use in or on another dessert.

Turtle Bark

Makes one 8×8 pan | Preparation line 8×8 pan with parchment or wax paper.


• ½ cup pecans, toasted

Caramel Filling:
• ½ cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 5 tablespoon heavy cream

• 16oz Ghirardelli 65% chocolate chips

*Optional Topping:

  • 2 tablespoon pecans, finely chopped
  • 2oz caramel sauce


  1. Toasting the pecans: Place pecans on bake sheet pan and toast at 375 degrees for about 5-6 minutes then stir for even toasting and bake for about another 5-6 minutes or until nuts darken and become aromatic. Remove bakesheet from oven and set aside to cool. Once pecans are completely cooled; chop and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of chopped pecans and chop it some for a finely chopped consistency; set aside for finishing.
  2. To make the caramel filling: Add sugar and water into a saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Use a wet brush to remove any crystals that form on the side. Once sugar has dissolved increase heat to high. Now and then, using the handle give the pot a swirl to keep the mixture moving. Do not stir the mixture directly. The mixture will start to bubble after a minute. As the mixture darkens to a medium amber color, approximately 5-7 minutes, add the butter and heavy cream to saucepan. The mixture will bubble wildly. Whisk to combine (bubbles will subside upon cooling). Set aside to cool completely.
  3. To melt the chocolate: Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl over (not on) simmering water and stir until melted.
  4. To assemble: Pour half of melted chocolate into 8×8 pans, using an offset icing spatula smooth out chocolate until an even layer is achieved. Place pan in refrigerator for 5 minutes for chocolate to become slightly harden. Remove from refrigerator and pour ¼ of caramel on top and sprinkle pecans on top of caramel and gently press pecans down into caramel. Place pan in refrigerator for 7 minutes for caramel to become slightly harden. Pour remaining chocolate on top and return to refrigerator for 20 minutes for fully assembled Turtle bark to set
  5. Finish top by sprinkling remaining 2 tablespoons of finely chopped pecans. Drizzle with caramel.
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25 Responses to “Turtle Bark”

  1. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — October 19, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

    I love it when caramel gets that slightly burnt flavor it adds such depth to the flavor. Love these for gifts for the holidays.


  2. #
    CupcakeLiz09 — October 19, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

    Holy moly…just found you through Pinterest…I’m going to be making this ASAP!!! :) I think I’m gonna throw some sea salt in with the pecans on the top, to break up the sweet..oh yum…. :) Thanks for the cravings! ;)


    • Naomi replied: — October 19th, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

      Cupcake Liz- What a great idea with the sea salt!


  3. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — October 19, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    omg I can’t wait to make this!! SO fantastic!


  4. #
    Jill — October 19, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

    I want to eat this now! I’m going to a party this weekend and I want to make this, could I double it to use a large cookie sheet (jelly roll pan)?


    • Naomi replied: — October 19th, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

      Hi Jill-Yes, you can definitely double this recipe.


  5. #
    Kristen — October 19, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    You are the bark queen, girl! Who knew bark could have so many different flavors!


  6. #
    shahar — October 19, 2011 @ 11:47 pm

    Looking good and big like for the title of the recipe :)


  7. #
    jloepky — October 20, 2011 @ 12:32 am

    How much does the caramel make if you only use 1/4 cup?


    • Naomi replied: — October 20th, 2011 @ 3:51 am

      Jloepky- The caramel makes a little more than 1/2 a cup. You will have some left over, so keep it for another caramel dessert or just use it as a sauce.


  8. #
    Deborah — October 20, 2011 @ 3:43 am

    This is going on my “must make” holiday list. How do you think this will ship?


  9. #
    Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} — October 20, 2011 @ 3:50 am

    That looks delicious! I love bark for holiday gifts. The neighbors would just love me if I brought this over!


  10. #
    Diane {Created by Diane} — October 20, 2011 @ 6:04 am

    YUM, I love the flavors of this so delicious!


  11. #
    Karylle Lynch — October 20, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    Yum! Who wouldn’t love this one? This turtle bark dessert looks scrumptiously delicious! My sweet tooth is craving now for this one!Thank you for sharing the recipe.


  12. #
    Melanie Heavenly — October 20, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    Wow – great recipe and wonderful gift for Christmas – thanks for sharing!


  13. #
    Ann P. — October 20, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

    caramel and chocolate– two of my favorite things, especially together! I’m getting so many holiday gift ideas from your blog, naomi. you rock, and I believe my friends will thank you, come Thanksgiving/Christmas!


  14. #
    Tony Scott — October 21, 2011 @ 5:52 am

    “Mouthwatering? I think so. It’s hard to resist a chocolate” Perfect opening line. No one really! No one could resist a chocolate! Thank you very much for this heavenly recipe.


  15. #
    paddle attachment — October 22, 2011 @ 6:27 am

    Yumo! These look so good, I’m at a loss for words and am channeling Rachel Ray.


  16. #
    Tickled Red — October 22, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

    Oh my word, mouthwatering indeed. These have me chanting “turtle, turtle” ;D


  17. #
    Katrina — October 23, 2011 @ 4:49 am

    Wow, that looks delicious!


  18. #
    Larissa — October 26, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

    I almost licked my computer screen…lol :D


  19. #
    HUGS & COOKIES XOXO — October 30, 2011 @ 2:45 am

    just made this tonight-so awesome!!!! thanks!


    • Naomi replied: — November 1st, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

      Hugs & Cookies ~ So happy to hear you enjoyed the Turtle Bark!


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