So I have one of those quick and easy recipes for you today!!
I mean, I didn’t test it on my brothers, so I can’t officially call it idiot proof.
But I’m not 100% positive they can even roast pumpkin seeds…yes, I’m talking about you, Creighton, Trevor, Kai and most definitely Red. Wait, I know for sure Red can’t roast pumpkin seeds. Honestly, I don’t know if Red knows how to turn the oven on….pampered.
SIDE NOTE: Red is off in Austria snowboarding at the moment just livin up the European lifestyle. I don’t know about you guys, but when I was 15 I was sitting in a classroom praying for the bell to ring at 3:05 pm, only to then walk home, do homework, eat dinner and veg out on the latest episode of Gilmore Girls…OH BUT! Speaking of Gilmore Girls, did you guys hear that they might be bringing NEW episodes to Netflix?!?!? I mean, I mean…my excitement is through the roof!! I watch almost zero TV, but I would watch this the second it came out!
Random side note OVER.
Point is, I have an easy recipe for you that highlights the season’s best little, itty bitty ingredients – pumpkin seeds! YES, roasted in their shell with lots and lots of salt. It’s the only way to roast pumpkin seeds…salt + olive oil = amazingness! This simple method will never fail you.
So here’s my thinking behind these cute little clusters. We are literally only days away from Halloween, so my guess is that now is the time we are all starting to think about carving up those pumpkins. Am I right??
I hope so, because you really need those seeds, you just HAVE to make these! They are so simple, but still seriously delish. Basically, just combine the seeds with loads of chocolate (use your favorite, milk or dark – either will be awesome), caramel, toasted pecans and salt…ok, I used kind of a lot of salt, but again, you can’t make them without salt. You just can’t.
Also, salt + chocolate = YES. Whoever came up with this combo is a genius and I applaud you.
And truly, that’s all there is to these. They have all the flavors of classic turtle cookies, but with the awesome addition of roasted pumpkin seeds. Seams so simple, but I promise, the roasted pumpkin seeds make all the difference.
OK, and I maybe added a lot of chocolate too, but come on, there can never be too much chocolate!
In an effort to keep this recipe as easy as possible I just used store-bought caramels, but please feel free to use homemade caramel if you are feeling it. I have to admit that sometimes the thought of making caramel really just sounds, well… not so fun. Yeah, there I said it. Caramel is not the most fun thing to make. Caramel sauce is easy, but like hard caramels or caramels that hold their shape but are chewy? They are a little tricky and I’ll be the first to admit it.
No shame in taking just a little help from the store every now and then, right?!? RIGHT.
OR if you wanted to make a healthy version of these you could make this EASY date caramel and replace the milk chocolate with dark chocolate. Then look out, completely healthy and guilt free recipe… and in NO time. Then you can say, TAKE THAT Halloween candy. <–Totally trying this out this week!
Either way, these little clusters are good and quickly becoming my new favorite fall snack. OH and how cute would these be to have floating around the house during the holidays for people to nibble on?!?!?
Yup, doing that too.
Chocolate Covered Roasted Pumpkin Seed Turtle Clusters.
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds rinsed and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt for sprinkling
- 20 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate chopped (may also use dark)
- 24 caramels unwrapped I used Werther's Original
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream or canned coconut milk
- 40 whole pecans toasted
- flaked sea salt for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Spread the raw pumpkin seeds on a greased baking sheet. Roast the pumpkin seeds for 10 minutes to dry them out. Remove from the oven.
Toss the pumpkin seeds with olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Return the pumpkin seeds to the oven and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkins seeds are golden and toasted. Remove and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with wax paper.
In a microwave safe bowl add 12 ounces of the chopped chocolate. Melt the chocolate on 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. It took me about one minute and 30 seconds. Dollop about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate in a small circle (about the size of an Oreo) onto the prepared wax paper lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have made 20-30 dollops of chocolate.
Next, take the roasted pumpkin seeds and sprinkle on top of the chocolate, covering almost all of the the chocolate. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
While the chocolate hardens add the unwrapped caramels and the heavy cream or coconut milk to a microwave safe bowl. Melt the caramels the same way you melted the chocolate, on 30 seconds intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. It took me about one minute and 30 seconds. Remove the chocolate covered pumpkin seeds from the freezer and spoon a little of the caramel over top of each cluster, be careful not to add too much caramel, you are aiming for 1-2 teaspoons per cluster. Now press two toasted pecans into the caramel.
Melt the remaining 8 ounces of chocolate in the microwave and drizzle over each cluster. Sprinkle each cluster with the flaked sea salt and place the pan back in the freezer for 10 minutes (or in the fridge for 20 minutes). Serve cold or at room temperature. If your house is warm I recommend storing these in the fridge so the chocolate does not melt.
I’d make a lot of these Chocolate Covered Roasted Pumpkin Seed Turtle Clusters though, they seemed to disappear incredibly FAST!