Smoked Almond Turtles

Total Time:
2 hr 21 min
10 min
2 hr
11 min

18 turtles


Spray a 12-count muffin pan, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Put the almonds in the bottom of each muffin cup and set aside.

For the caramel: In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, butter, sugar, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F, about 5 to 7 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 30 seconds. Using a long-handled, metal spoon, carefully spoon the caramel over the nuts. Allow the caramel to harden, at room temperature, for 1 hour.

Put the chocolate chips in a medium stainless steel or glass bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted, about 4 minutes. Spoon the chocolate over the caramel and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Using a thin-bladed spatula, remove the turtles from the pan (caramel will be hard). Let the turtles stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour (to allow the caramel to soften) before serving.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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    I didn't have heavy cream so I used light sour cream instead and it came out fantastic a huge hit!! I didn't have time to wait for the butter to get to room temperature so I sliced it, layered it with the sour cream and then the brown sugar. And continued with the recipe. I also added vanilla and a touch of almond extract at the end.
    This was so delicious!! Bravo Giada!
    I'm in New York like another reviewer. I really do believe that altitude plays a big role in cooking and baking. A friend made caramel at the recomended 240 degrees F and it never set--not even in the fridge. So that and a few of the comments encouraged me to boil the caramel to a higher temp. I upped mine to 250 degrees, the result was a chewy caramel that kept its shape even at room temperature. It was firm enough to pop out of the pan whole, but soft enough to chew. Very nice! I will definately make these again.
    It's so depressing to not get the right texture, because the turtles are so perfectly sweet and buttery with the bittersweet chocolate and smoked almonds. My mistake was throwing the cold ingredients straight from the refridgerator and into the pot. I ended up stirring the caramel for much longer than intended to break down the butter, and the lovelies set grainy. Make sure you start with room temperature ingredients! Especially the butter, like the recipe says!
    You will def want to use MINI cupcake tins, this recipe you would need 48 count, I only have 24 count mini - so I had 2 use a few regular size which were very big, the caramel is super gooey, doesn't set as well as other caramel recipes i've made, you could substitute your fav recipe there tho, and I used a cookie dough scooper, perfect for the mini tins...DON'T TOUCH YOUR CARAMEL once you get it mixed, let it come to temp on 4 or 5 on an electric stove, if it's on low you will be there forever waiting to hit 240...all in all, very tasty recipe, smoked almonds were a twist for my, but OMG - melt in your mouth!
    Made these tonight and they turned out so well! First time I've ever made caramel and was a little nervous. But my advice is don't be! It's so easy, and the caramel just does the work for you. I took the advice below and used a mini cupcake pan. They're very chewy, so I'm not sure what I could have done differently to change that but they still were great. I also debated on getting regular almonds rather than smoked because I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but it really does add a great flavor. Thanks Giada!
    Nice little sweet bite! Made 31 in mini muffin tins. Set 8 chocolate chips on top of the warm caramel and swirled them. Whenever I use chocolate chips to layer on bars, candy, etc., it never totally firms up and makes a gooey mess. Any suggestions?
    Loved the flavor! They came out really good. Mini muffin tin is definitely the way to go. I didn't have Almonds so I used Toasted Pecans and they worked out great. I think I needed to let the caramel cook another minute or two. It set up but still a little to soft. After following all directions I turned them over and coated the bottoms with chocolate too to seal-in the caramel so you could pick them up without the caramel sticking to your fingers. These would make a great gift. Just make sure to make a trial batch first to make sure you've got the caramel right before making a the final batch.
    For anyone that is looking to make something simple yet delicious for a dessert or even just a snack I recommend this recipe. I made it last night and it was a complete success!! I didn't have a candy thermometer or a muffin pan so I used a cupcake pan instead and just went by the time stated in the recipe. I also crushed up some almonds and regular peanuts into small pieces so it was easier for my kids to eat and let me just say they loved every single bite!! Thanks Giada!! This is another recipe of yours that I will make again and again!!
    giada the smoked almonds were a great choice i didn't have a candy thermometer so i estimated on the caramel sauce and i was wrong it was very soft and kept melting super quickly and i advise u all dont be like me and put too much chocolate because it hardens a small layer is brothers loved this ur unparalleled Giada
    I don't usually like smoked flavors, but these are really good! The caramel was easy to make although I found, as with most candy recipes, that it takes longer than 5-7 minutes to reach the desired temperature. I too used a miniature muffin tin. Make sure to spray a lot of vegetable spray in the cups- I had a hard time getting the turtles out.
    HELP! Can I fix grainy caramel?!?! I doubled the caramel recipe. All went well until I needed to reheat the caramel. I needed more time to prepare additional pans as I had more caramel. I tried to heat up the caramel and I made the mistake of stirring it. Now I can see the big difference in the caramel - 1st batch (not stirred) is nice and shiney. Remainder of re-heated caramel is grainy. Is there anything I can do to salvage this?? Thanks!!
    I haven't made these yet. I read a bunch of the reviews and now I'm worried about the caramel part. Can I just use the pre-made wrapped candies instead? If so, do I just melt it and pour it on? Will it harden enough?
    These are incredibly good. I'm not one to like smoked things but the smoked almonds really make them yummy and special. Also, I used a miniature muffin pan and that was just the right size. A regular muffin pan makes them too big - they are so rich, they need to be smaller. My guests loved these!
    awesome! Yes, very easy to use pre-made caramels (either from a block or the individually-wrapped ones. Please do NOT be scared about making homemade caramel: once you do, you'll only do the other if short on time. I am always afraid of the candy thermometer/chance of burning myself, but this recipe is a winner no matter what. If you don't want huge turtles, i suggest a mini-muffin pan lined with foil cupcake liners (red, green, gold)....keep well, and always well-received. Easy, peasy, great using pre-made caramels if a child wants to help.
    These were fantastic! Everyone can't get enough of them.....Definitely will make them again. Experimented with white chocolate drizzled over chocolate.....Yummy!!!
    Wow, these were surprisingly easy! This was my first time making caramel and the instructions were clear and easy to follow. Love the smoked almond combination. I used mini muffins and got about 34 of them. However, I did find that 3/4 c of chocolate was not enough to cover them all. Probably double that, but I covered the tops completely, not a drizzle. Will certainly make again!
    The flavor of these is absolutely yummy, but getting the texture correct is the tough part. I, too, used mini muffin tin, but think next time, i'll let the caramels cool completely, pop them out and put the chocolate on the opposite side. There just doesn't seem to be enough chocolate otherwise!
    Tips for candy making: Always test thermometer each time. Place in pan of boiling water. Temp should read 212 degr, F/100 degr C. If not right, figure difference & adjust. Ball of therm shouldn't touch bottom of pan.
    Caramel: Wipe pan with butter. This will help keep sugar from sticking once cooking starts. Never stir after cooking starts. This can cause crystals to form which makes caramel grainy. Never scrap sides of pan, this also causes crystalization.
    Melting chocolate: Pan/bowl, utinsils, fingers, everything must be perfectly dry. The smallest bit of moisture will cause the chocolate to "seize". No real, so start another batch. Hope this helps.
    ok Even tho these are so good (the smoky saltiness of the nuts combined with the sweet caramel OMG!) I'm finding the caramel too sweet and have yet to get the consistency just right (I know this is dependent on temp/time of boiling caramel-not the recipe). And even the mini muffin size is still too big would like to have it small enough for one bite So still trying to perfect this really fabulous recipe and in the meantime enjoying every bite of each test recipe (gawd I hope I dont gain weight)
    I made these about two times already, I'm actually getting ready to make them again. I read that some reviewers had problems with their caramel coming out grainy. That happened to me the first time I made them, my mistake is that I kept stirring the caramel (with a whisk) while it was bubbling and you're not suppose to do that. Just add the ingredients into the pot and let it all come together like friends on its own. Just lift the pan, move your arm in circles gently but dont mix with a spoon or fork or anything ( not sure that made sense hehe). I did it like that the second time and it came out really smooth. I got that from Ina. Hope this helps :) Give it a try their delicious and super fun to make :)
    The caramel didn't set. I followed the recipe exactly, but the caramel was a runny mess, and the chocolate was hard as a rock.

    The smokey almonds were delicious with the caramel and chocolate, but I couldn't serve them because fo the obvious texture issues.
    Well they tasted great, but my caramel didn't set, even though I let it reach exactly the temperature it calls for on the recipe.

    I've made this about 4 times and it's always hit! The first time around I used a regular size muffin pan and it was a little to much so I switched to a mini muffin pan and it's just right!!

    Thanks again Giada
    I also made these for the first time. I bought a new candy thermometer and went right by thr directions,however my caramel also came out VERY grainy. Im not sure what went wrong.I read on another review that she lived in Colorado and she thought the altitude might of had something to do with it. I live in New York and I had the same problem.Any suggestions?????
    I made two batches,both turned out great.I put in mini muffin tin with liners(sprayed lightly).each batch made 36 minis.Nice size
    Stirred to mix until smooth,once it started to boil,left alone. It took 8-9 minutes both times for it to come to 240. Didn't & Wouldn't change a thing.(except size)
    Thank you Giada
    This dessert is wonderful! The cruch, the texture, the chocolate...all around winner! I did make them in a mini muffin pan so they would be bite sized, but that was all I changed. Great recipe! Crowd pleaser.
    everyone i made for loved them. made them as christmas presents for all my friends and family and they liked it!
    So the first time I made the turtles they came out good, the only thing that went wrong was the fact that I didn't let the mixture boil until it reached 140 degrees like the directions told me to do so. So as I took the turtles out of the muffin pan, it was gooey. I put it in the freezer which seemed to help, but you can't leave it on the counter for too long or everthing will start to mix together. I was determend to make the turtles perfect the second time around. I let everything boil until it reached the 140 degree mark, and they turned out perfectly! They are soo good when you make them correctly, so the important thing is to cook them until it reaches 140 degrees!!!
    This recipe has an amazing taste but didn't turn out like Giada's chewy turtles. I bought and used a new candy thermometer and cooked just as the recipe said, being certain not to over stir.. The caramel turned out grainy. I live in Denver, CO at a mile high so I was wondering if that makes a difference. I have always had a difficult time making candy and after watching Giada make these I thought this recipe looked fool proof. Not so. Does the temperature need adjusted to get chewy caramel? Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I need to do to perfect this recipe?
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