So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It Just Wouldn't Be Christmas Without.... #4

Through Friday this week, I am posting a recipe every day that "it just wouldn't be Christmas without." I hope you'll join me making them and also share some of your own favorites.

Today's selection is a candy I don't usually make myself. Instead, I mooch them from my mother-in-law's stash (one of her sisters always makes some too). But I have been known to lose my lazy streak occasionally and make them myself.

They have a few names that I know of. The most boring of these is Caramel Pecan Clusters. If I had taken the time to place the pecan halves in a star shape with the center edges touching and then placed a dollop of caramel on top its center, they would be called Turtles (because the pecan edges peeking out look like its little head and four feet). I actually did that the first time I tried making them.

These, however, are called Millionaires. Because I guess a millionaire would rather buy the turtles than deal with the time consuming art of arranging pecan halves. I don't know. I honestly haven't a clue why they are called that. Perhaps the caramel and chocolate were items that only the wealthy could afford when they were named. However they came to have the name, they are pretty darn good.

By the way, this is also the easy way to make them. There are recipes for making the caramel center from scratch. I didn't do that. Walgreens was kind enough to put their caramels on clearance when they heard I was craving the candy.

They are pretty easy. First you melt the caramels in a double boiler.

You want to add some evaporated milk to make them creamy -- probably between 1/8 to 1/4 cup although you'll have to decide based on humidity, etc. and get them to the consistency you want.

Once you do that, add the pecans. The recipe called for 2 cups chopped. I wanted halves and it only took about 1 1/2 cups. Again you decide how you want them.

Then you drop them onto a greased baking sheet (once again, if you can get the ugliest, most well used and loved pan you have to post a picture on the internet, well, they just taste so much better). I made mine too big this time -- but hey, I had dinner cooking too so I rushed a little.

Then it's just a matter of allowing them to cool and dipping them in chocolate. You always want to set freshly dipped chocolate candy in the fridge to harden so it gets pretty and shiny like that.

MMMMmmmm. Don't they look yummy. I think I'll go have one.


1 12-oz. bag of caramels
1/8 to 1/4 cup evaporated milk
2 cups chopped pecans
Dipping chocolate and/or several Hershey's bars

Heat caramel in double boiler until melted and smooth. Mix in evaporated milk to consistency desired.
Mix in pecans. Drop by small spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. DO NOT USE WAXED PAPER. Allow to cool.
Melt chocolate to dipping consistency. Dip clusters in chocolate and set aside on greased baking sheet or waxed paper lined baking sheet. Allow to harden in refrigerator. Remove.
Store in airtight container.

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