The perfect keto friendly candy! A pecan turtle made with caramel sauce and melted chocolate that’s keto and low carb compliant, and just as delicious as the real thing!
This recipe was created in partnership with Sprouts Farmers Market. I only partner with brands I stand behind and truly use their products. All opinions are my own.
Holiday season is upon us and it’s time to cook and bake to our hearts content! As we embark on this season, I know the idea of indulging is both enjoyable and sometimes stressful (especially if you are on a keto or low carb diet).
But, I have great news for you. With the help of my friends from Sprouts Farmers Market, I have created a recipe for a delicious keto pecan turtle that rivals it’s classic. With a keto caramel sauce that’s smooth and buttery, that covers Sprout’s brand pecan halves and topped with melted low carb or dark chocolate chips.
Find the full recipe below and read through this post to get helpful tips and tricks for making the perfect keto caramel sauce and melting and tempering chocolate too!
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Small Pot
- Measuring Cups
- Small Mixing Bowl
Choosing Your Ingredients-
I purchased all of my ingredients for this recipe at my local Sprouts store here in the Kansas city area. I love utilizing their bulk food section because it has a wide array of ingredients that are keto friendly nuts and nut flours.
I opted to feature pecans for this recipe because they are the classic way a turtle candy is prepared. However, I had to indulge in their cashews (pictured) as well. Both pair so well with my homemade keto caramel sauce and the low carb chocolate too. Feel free to use other nuts like almonds, walnuts, etc.
Sprouts also carries brands I often use to make low carb desserts such as Lily’s brand chocolate chips as well as a selection of dark chocolate. You can also find a variety of low carb sweeteners like monk fruit as well, making this an easy one stop shop for this recipe!
Prepping the Keto Turtles-
Start by placing parchment over a baking sheet and lay out the nuts. I prefer to lay out the pecans (four per turtle) so the points touch and the edges stick out. Be sure to space them out throughout the baking sheet to allow room for the caramel and chocolate too. If you opt to use cashews, you can place a few clustered together as well and similarly spaced.
What is the best low carb sweetener to use to make keto caramel?
Keto caramel is one of my favorite things to make, because its virtually zero net carbs (depending on the sugar alcohols), and so delicious. I first discovered this back when I made my Keto Girl Scout Samoa’s and there was no going back! I also find it much easier to make than traditional caramel and less temperamental.
To make a good keto caramel that remains a chewy consistency, I prefer to use allulose as the low carb sweetener. Allulose has similar properties to sugar and will caramelize and brown and hold a good chewy consistency. I use it anytime I make caramel or even when I make other syrups like this Keto Simple Syrup (awesome in cocktails and other drinks).
Some individuals may have a digestive sensitivity to allulose, so xylitol is an option. Be aware that xylitol is very harmful (even in small amounts) to pets. For that reason I personally avoid having it in the house.
I often get asked if monk fruit or erythritol can be used as a substitute. The answer is technically “yes”, but it will not brown the same and it will recrystallize again when it solidifies (I personally am not a fan but some may not mind it). I also find it has a stronger “chemical” flavor after cooling.
How do I make keto caramel?
Start by browning the melted butter over low heat in a pot on the stove over low heat. When the butter has browned and smells rich, pour in the sweetener and a pinch of salt. Whisk it into the butter so the sweetener dissolves and then pour in the heavy cream.
Whisk again just until it is all combined and turn the heat to a medium temperature. At this point, I advise you not to mix but let it cook and bubble. This allows the alcohol sugars to caramelize and cook as needed, about 6-8 minutes.
When the caramel is done, remove it from the heat and allow it to rest before pouring over the nuts for about 5-10 minutes. This allows the caramel to thicken slightly and won’t run all over the baking sheet and adhere to the nuts better.
Pour a few teaspoons of caramel over the pecans or cashews and allow it to set and become slightly tacky. You can place the baking sheet in the fridge to speed up the process.
Coating With Chocolate-
To keep these classic caramel nut clusters keto friendly, utilize a low carb chocolate or opt for a dark chocolate instead. Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler or on half powered heat in a microwave.
To help temper and smooth the chocolate you can also add a small amount of coconut oil for a nice glossy sheen to the chocolate as well. I prefer to stir about every 30 seconds or so when I microwave to prevent the chocolate from burning. Be cautious and work quickly!
Pour a few teaspoons of chocolate over the caramel coated pecans. I use a spoon to swirl the chocolate a bit and to spread it over the nuts. Let it set out on the counter for a few hours or pop back in the fridge again for a while to set as well.
The Perfect Holiday Gift-
In honor of the holiday and to spread some holiday cheer, myself and a few other fellow bloggers who enjoy shopping and partnering with Sprouts have opted to enjoy a “Keto Treat Exchange”. I felt these Homemade Keto Pecan Turtles would be an ideal gift for this exchange.
I packed them to share in a beautiful box and added a little festive holiday shredded paper to help fill and protect the turtles during shipping. These are the perfect, lower carb treat to serve this holiday season and you won’t even feel like you’re giving anything up either!
- 1 lb of Pecan Halves (or Cashews)
- 1 cup Low Carb Sweetener (see notes in post above)
- 1 stick of Butter
- 2/3 cup Heavy Cream
- 3 cups Low Carb Chocolate Chips or Dark Chocolate Chips
- Lay a piece of parchment onto a baking sheet. Place 4 pecans together for the base of the turtles. You should be able to get about 2 dozen sets on a baking sheet.
- Make the keto friendly caramel sauce – In a pot over low heat, brown the stick of butter slightly. Once lightly browned, stir in the low carb
sweetener, a pinch of salt, and whisk well. Once the sweetener is dissolved, pour in the cream. Whisk until it forms one cohesive mixture then let it sit on medium-low heat and do not touch!
- Allow the caramel to cook for about 6-8 minutes. Do not whisk until your remove it from the heat. Let it rest about 5 minutes before adding
to the pecans. Pour about 2 tsp of caramel over the pecans and let it rest. You can put it into the fridge to set faster if needed.
- While the caramel is setting, slowly melt the chocolate over a double boiler or on half power in the microwave in a glass bowl. Stir every 30
sec to prevent burning.
- Pour a few teaspoons over the top of the caramel and use a spoon
to slightly swirl and spread the chocolate. Allow it to rest at room
temperature to set or return it to the fridge if needed. Store in a plastic
container for up to a week.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 9mg Sodium: 16mg Carbohydrates: 2g Net Carbohydrates: 1g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 0g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g