Martha Stewart's chocolate covered turtles and Giada de Laurentiis' smoked almond caramels are great-tasting homemade turtle candy recipes. Martha's recipe makes a large batch of 55 to 60 candies good for parties and holidays. Giada's mix produces 18 turtles, which are better suited for a family-sized batch.
To make Giada's recipe, liberally coat a 12-count muffin pan with vegetable cooking spray. Divide 1 cup of coarsely chopped smoked almonds evenly between each muffin cup.
Make the caramel by combining 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 stick unsalted butter, 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cook until it reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. Spoon the caramel over the nuts, and let it set for one hour. Melt 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, coat the caramels and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For Martha's recipe toast 1 1/2 pounds of pecans, and arrange 5 pecan halves in a snowflake pattern. Create enough snowflakes to cover the bottom of five baking pans. The caramel process is similar to Giada's recipe using 2 cups light corn syrup, 1/2 cup whole milk and 2 cups sugar brought to a boil. Add a pinch of baking soda, a 12-ounce can of evaporated milk and 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, and cook to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mound 1 tablespoon of caramel on each nut cluster. Melt 1 pound of semisweet chocolate, and spoon 1 tablespoon on top of each candy.