Salted Chocolate Turtle Graham Bars
Which means it’s almost Valentine’s Day.
Which means we’re all overloading on chocolate.
Do you want to make something that’s not molten chocolate cake or a red velvet brownie? Something that tastes like you slaved over it for hours, but in reality only took minutes to make? Something a little bit different?
I got you.
These Salted Chocolate Turtle Graham Bars have some pretty luxurious ingredients like salted caramel, smooth creamy chocolate, flaky sea salt, and pecans, but it’s grounded by store-bought graham crackers. Of course you can make your own graham crackers but that would require a couple extra hours, wouldn’t it? You can also substitute saltines, for an even more salty-sweet take. I used milk chocolate instead of the dark chocolate that the original recipe called for just because I really like milk chocolate, and for Valentine’s Day – especially – you should stick with what (or who) you really like.
These bars are technically bark – I made a giant slab then broke them apart in uneven pieces. We’re going for rustic and approachable (bark is very forgiving), instead of perfect and intimidating. Although these bars are actually quite perfect. They’re super easy to make, a teeny bit messy to eat, and taste absolutely delicious.
I made these while I was in the Philippines last month and used my great-great-grandmother’s cookie platter engraved with her initials. I loved how it looks and now I’m thinking of buying some heirloom plates to engrave with my own initials, too. I’ll probably end up covering the initials with cookies, though, but that’s okay.
These bars were pretty popular with my family and friends during the holidays (they’re also called holiday crack), and I’ve heard tales of people scrambling for the last pieces of these chocolatey, caramely, nutty bars. I suggest making a double batch if you’re sharing or gifting for this holiday.
Make your Valentine’s Day (or any day, really) extra special with these Turtle Graham Bars. You’ll only need a few minutes, your house will smell delicious while you’re making the caramel, and you’ll be able to practice your strength of will… Why strength of will? Because while you’re waiting for the bars to cool, it will be very tempting to eat a hot, gooey piece. Don’t do it. (Trust me.)
Salted Chocolate Turtle Graham Bars
16 graham crackers (or enough to cover your baking sheet in a single layer)
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt (or kosher salt or any other flaky salt)
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped pecans
16 oz milk chocolate (I used a bar of Trader Joe's Pound Plus)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, a silicon mat, or foil. Arrange the graham crackers in a single layer on baking sheet.
- In a small saucepan, put the butter, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 3/4 cup chopped pecan. Bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until it becomes a thick caramel. Pour the caramel over graham crackers, spread evenly, and bake for 15 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Place the milk chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir. Heat again for 30 seconds and stir until smooth. You can also use a double broiler. Pour the chocolate over the baked graham crackers and caramel, sprinkle with remaining pecans and sea salt.
- Chill completely in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes or in the freezer for 20 minutes. Break into bars using your hands or using a sharp chef’s knife.
recipe adapted from Claire Robinson
If you need more recipe inspiration, I also have a round-up of some Valentine’s Day Recipe Ideas – there’s lots of pink, some sexy desserts, a little bit of booze, and (of course) chocolate. Some of my favorite recipes may take 3 minutes, some may take 3 hours, but these are desserts that will surely be enjoyed by you and your loves. Let me know if you make any!