Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mother's Caramel Turtles

My mother made the best caramel turtles I have ever tasted! When December rolled around, I made a trip to mother's house for the annual making of the caramel turtles. It was an all day event. Don't let the simple sounding recipe fool you! 

The best part of making turtles is when the caramel finally reaches the soft ball stage. It is perfectly cooked to a gooey soft and slightly chewy stage. I drop some caramel in a cold cup of water, swirl it around in my fingers and form it into a ball. I set it on my tongue... it sits only for a moment and then melts away, giving my taste buds the sensation of pure, caramely deliciousness! It can take a couple of hours to get it to the stage of perfection. I never use a candy thermometer. It gets in my way. One bite, that's all it takes, and you are hooked for life. You can't live without them ever again. Mom's caramel turtles are to die for!
I started making turtles with mom when I was a young mother. In the mid 80's. My husband and I and our small family moved from Utah to Colorado and was too far away to enjoy the luxury of having turtles just down the street. I decided then and there I was going to learn how to make turtles. And I have every year, ever since. Most of the time I made the trek to mom's house. It was a treat to spend the day chatting and making merry in the kitchen with mother. It's now only a sweet and treasured memory. Mother passed away in October of 2011. My siblings were spoiled. Mother made them turtles every year, so they never learned for themselves. Last Christmas, I had a lot of requests from family members for the turtles recipe. I gladly shared with them. I made the above recipe card with some pictures of mom and home and sent it out in a Christmas card to about 40 caramel turtle craving families.

I think I have perfected the art of caramel turtle making. My daughters and granddaughters have become interested in making them with me. It's become a tradition... passed from my mother, to my daughters, and granddaughters. It makes my heart happy!


writing prompt #5: Share a favorite holiday inspired recipe!


  1. Caramel is my favorite food group. Thanks for sharing! I will now print, make, eat and repeat!

  2. Oh my goodness, those look fabulous!! Need to try and make them while I'm still in indulge mode for the holidays! What a beautiful art to pass down to your daughters and granddaughters.

  3. Those look amazing. What a wonderful tradition to continue in the family!

  4. What a beautiful family tradition to pass on! I often wish that I had spent more time with my grandmother, learning some of her cooking secrets. I am glad that you were able to spend time with your mom!

  5. oh I do miss that carmely goodness. She always made the coconut fruit balls just for me I think :)

  6. congratulations on the shout out at Mama Kat's this week. This is a great tradition :)