Cooking With The Old Farmer's Almanac

Poor Man's Turtles

Amy Nieskens

Take me into a candy shop any day, anywhere, and I will walk out with a turtle every time. No matter how good the selection, to me, nothing beats the combination of chocolate, caramel and pecans.

I never thought I would be able to make these delectable treats at home. Turns out, I still can’t…but, I can make a version of them which is easy, delicious, and just as satisfying. Poor Man’s Turtles!

I got this recipe from a friend. It is one of those recipes that you don’t even need to write down—it’s that easy. It makes you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Here is what you need:

  • Small, bite-sized pretzels
  • Chocolate covered caramels (I used ROLOS® candies)
  • Pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 275ºF. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Place pretzels on tray in a single layer, salted side up, spacing at least an inch apart. Unwrap candies and place one on top of each pretzel. Bake for 3 minutes.

Remove from the oven and gently press a pecan half into each softened candy. Let harden (I popped mine in the fridge for about 10 minutes to speed up this step).

You can make as many or as few as you wish—but I do have to warn you, they won’t last long! Even a co-worker who doesn’t like pretzels asked me for the recipe. They are that good.


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Thanks for the recipe. Can't

Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to take some to my turtle lovin mom! The was no way to add it to "my recipe box" :( ?

I look for sales. Buy Rolo's

I look for sales. Buy Rolo's on sale then freeze them. Same thing with the Pecans. I always double the batch and watch them go! Have a fun and safe New Years.

I made these in a big batch -

I made these in a big batch - I made mine a tiny bit different - I used a kraft caramel square and them drizzled milk and dark chocolate on them - they were a huge hit at the kids parents lunch - I only made the adjustment cause we live very rural and our store had no rolos or other chocolate covered caramel - they were still simple and tasty!


My mom made these for the first time this Christmas. I just made a batch for a New Year's Eve party, but it's silly to call them "Poor Man's Turtles", in my opinion. I made mine with Dove squares and the smallest bag of pecan halves I could find was $13.

Wow, those are some expensive

Wow, those are some expensive pecans! I can usually find a bag for around $6 or so, but I agree, they aren't the cheapest nuts around...maybe "lazy turtles" would be a better title for this recipe? In any event, I'm glad you tried them. Hopefully they were tasty enough to make again (and again!)

Turtles on a Raft

Yes, these are very, very addictive. I´m usually not a big fan of caramel, but the gooey sweet caramel paired with the salty pretzels and the chocolate here makes for an exceedingly yummy treat. At our house we make them with the waffle type pretzels and call them "Turtles on a Raft." I don´t know that I agree with the term "poor man´s turtles" because the ingredients -- namely, the Rolo candies and the pecan halves -- are a bit pricey, and even a whole big bag of Rolos doesn´t make a very big batch. But yeah, okay, compared to the fancy chocolate boutique turtles, these are inexpensive. They´d be worth the cost at nearly any price, though.


Several of us received these this Cristmas from my husband's cousin. I am one who doesn't like pretzels but these are absolutely incredible and we all wanted the recipe. Thank you Amy for posting it. I think this was the biggest hit at our Christmas Eve gathering.

If you haven't tried these yet you are really missing out!


I could not get enough of these! I even searched Amy's office for leftovers the next day. Alas, they were all gobbled up.