A chewy salted caramel is poured over roasted pecans then topped with a thin layer of rich chocolate. These are what you make when you love someone.
There’s a chain of chocolate stores in Canada called Purdy’s. Everything was going great in my life, I’d stop by once in a while for a salted caramel truffle, and I was happy. And then one day my cousin was with me at the mall, and she told me I HAD to try the Sweet Georgia Browns. I think she actually handed me a two pack and sent me on my way.
I don’t know that I’ll ever completely forgive her for that. They were hands down, the best chocolate I’d ever eaten. Smooth and chewy caramel with a pile of salty roasted pecans and a layer of creamy milk chocolate. They were like biting into heaven.
Like any normal person, I entered the addiction phase. I had to have them, and then I ate too many of them, and then I felt guilty because I’d eaten so many of them. It was a vicious cycle that took me a while to beat. And now, now I was finally ready to make them myself safe in the knowledge that I could be responsible in my consumption of them. Only I wasn’t, and now I can’t make them again until I have a really good reason AND they won’t be living in my house, because I’m weak and I can’t stop myself.
- 2 cups pecans (halves or pieces)
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Chewy Caramel - if nervous about making a true caramel, see notes for an easier version
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups good chocolate (milk or dark, I use lindt chocolate bars for this), melted
- Preheat your oven to 325ºF with a rack in the middle position. Toss the pecans with the melted butter in a large bowl, then sprinkle on the salt and toss again.
- Spread out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. The nuts will be fragrant and slightly darker in colour.
- Set aside to cool.
- Put the cream and butter in a small saucepan and warm just until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and keep close by.
- Put the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large sauce pan. Gently whisk to combine, trying not to get any up the sides of the pan.
- Place the pot over medium heat and do not stir any more. Let it come to a boil. Check occasionally with an instant read thermometer and remove the syrup from the heat when it is between 250ºF and 275ºF. It will be translucent and boiling rapidly at this point.
- Off the heat, whisk in the warm cream and butter mixture. Be careful, because the syrup will bubble and nearly triple in size.
- Return the pot to medium heat, and let it come to a boil, without stirring again. Remove from the heat when it reaches 245ºF. Watch carefully, as it can not go above 250ºF or the caramel will be too hard and not chewy.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and salt.
- You can either use mini muffin tins to have them all uniformly shaped, or you can just drop them onto a silicone, parchment, or waxed paper lined baking sheet.
- Place a few pecans in the bottom of a muffin tin, or in groups every few inches on a lined baking sheet.
- Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the caramel over top of the nuts. Allow them to cool completely at this point (you can speed this up by putting them into the fridge or freezer if you're in a rush).
- Once the candy's are cool, melt your chocolate (I just do this in a glass bowl in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds). Dip the caramel side of the candies into the melted chocolate to coat the top, then set on a rimmed baking sheet to cool again (I always put mine in the fridge at this point to speed it up)
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
If you're a little nervous at how finicky caramel can be to make, here's an easier way to make it:
Easy Caramel Recipe
1/4 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup corn syrup
6 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Put the water, sugar, condensed milk, corn syrup, and butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk together, then bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Continue boiling and stirring until the caramel reaches 245ºF on an instant read or candy thermometer, then immediately remove it from the heat so that the caramel is chewy, not hard.
Quickly stir in the salt and vanilla.
Proceed with assembling the candies.