Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the pecans on abaking sheet and toast them for 6 minutes, shaking the panhalfway through baking. Remove from oven and set asideto cool for a few minutes.
For the Dark Chocolate Pecan Turtles:
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment paper with non-stick spray.
Arrange the toasted pecans on the prepared sheets in star shaped groups of 5. Please see photo number 5 in above blog post if you need a visual on this. Set aside until needed.
In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add in the granulated sugar, corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 235°F on your candy thermometer (also know as soft ball stage), about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and vigorously whisk the mixture for 30 seconds. Set aside for 5 minutes (set a timer!).
Using a medium cookie scoop, spoon level mounds of the caramel over each nut cluster, aiming to drop it in the center of the cluster. Set aside while you melt your chocolate.
Fill a medium pot one-third full with water and bring it to a low simmer over medium heat. Place a heatproof bowl that will fit on top of the pan snugly, but will not touch the simmering water, on top of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and add the chopped chocolate into the bowl over the pot. Heat until the chocolate is completely melted, stirring occasionallywith a silicon spatula. Once the chocolate is completely melted, stir the mixture smooth, then carefully remove the bowl from the heat.
Spoon about a tablespoon of the melted chocolate over each caramel pecan cluster, again, aiming to drop it in the center of the cluster. Set aside, at room temperature, until the chocolate has set, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 1 week. And good luck not eating them all in one sitting ;)