This recipe appears in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook I have. After producing "turtle bricks" I went online to discover what I did wrong and found this exact recipe duplicated here along with similar complaints. I wish I would have visited the review page first! I, too, had problems with the Kraft caramels failing to melt in the specified time at 300 degrees, and when they did melt after placing them back in the oven they did so suddenly and immediately hardened as others have reported.
Nobody else seems to have had the problem I had with the chocolate, though. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips as called for in the recipe and it took almost 10 minutes to melt them with just 1.5tsp of shortening, and it was far too thick at that. Now it could be that my substitution of butter for shortening produced the hard-to-melt chocolate problem; however, the recipe contains no "do not substitute" warnings (perhaps it should?). I also used Ghiradelli's semi-sweet chocolate chips, when I suspect milk chocolate chips would have made for a smoother melt and easier spoon-on experience. (Ghiradelli's chips are higher in cocoa and "dry", even by semi-sweet standards.) Before I could spoon the chocolate onto even half a batch worth of pecan/caramels, it had begun to clump up and stick to the spoon like glue. I'm NOT happy.
If I repeat this recipe, I would melt the caramels with a bit of milk in the microwave or on the stove AND I would add in milk chocolate chips for a creamier, smoother melt.
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This recipe appears in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook I have. After producing "turtle bricks" I...