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Magic Turtle Bars Recipe

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With Memorial Day weekend coming up, I wanted to share some great recipes that you can make for the holiday. Today, I’ve whipped up three ahh-mazing desserts including these Magic Turtle Bars for the family to enjoy poolside and during our weekend BBQs.

Magic Turtle Bars stacked on a blue plate

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1/2 cup butter melted (1 stick)
  • 2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag Kraft Caramels (chopped)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cans sweetened condensed milk
Magic Turtle Bars

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper or lightly spray or grease.
  3. Combine crushed Oreo cookies and butter till combined and Oreo crumbs are moist. Spread evenly in bottom of pan, pressing down to form a crust.
  4. Unwrap caramels and cut the squares into smaller pieces. I cut each square into four pieces.
  5. Layer one bag chocolate chips evenly over crust. Top with the caramel pieces and pecans (save out about 1/4 cup for the top). Next sprinkle the second bag of chocolate chips and remaining pecans.
  6. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk evenly over the entire pan, and try to make sure to cover all the nooks and crannies.
  7. Bake for 28-30 minutes, just until condensed milk begins to turn golden. Let cool completely before cutting.
  8. Store in airtight container. These bars are amazing served with vanilla ice cream.
WHAT ARE TURTLE DESSERTS?

Turtle desserts are baked goods that include the key ingredients in the traditional turtle candies. Turtles are a candy made with pecans and caramel dipped in chocolate, with a shape resembling a turtle. The name is trademarked by DeMet’s Candy Company.

According to Wikipedia, “Turtles were developed by Johnson’s Candy Company (which became DeMet’s Candy Company in 1923) in 1918, after a salesman came into the commissary’s dipping room and showed a candy to one of the dippers, who pointed out that the candy looked like a turtle. Soon after, Johnson’s Candy Company was making the same kind of candy and selling it under the name “Turtles.”

So, many people add the name “turtle” into any desserts that include pecans, caramel and chocolate. Sure, they usually include other ingredients such as we are today to form the crust and cookie bar portion of the treat, but they always include the nuts, caramel and chocolate.

WHY MAKE DESSERT BARS?

I’ve always found dessert bars to be a bit more fancy than serving cookies. Let’s say they are more sophisticated because they are usually served on a plate with a fork to enjoy. Cookie are a grab n’ go type of dessert. Both are delicious but when are you looking to dress up your dessert without making a full cake, dessert bars are the way to go.

How to Freeze Dessert Bars?

Turtle magic bars are super easy to freeze after they are baked. The easiest way is to cool the bars completely, and cut and wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap. Freeze on a baking sheet until solid and then transfer to a zip-top freezer bag or other airtight container. Then just thaw the cookies for a few hours in the fridge before serving.

WHAT MAKES THEM MAGIC BARS?

Actually it’s a mystery why magic bars are called “magic” or when they were first created, but we know that when it was popularized in the late 1960s, it was the go-to dessert for moms to whip up. Maybe it got its name because they are SO easy to whip up that it’s almost magic? Who knows? But we do know that magic bars always contain canned sweetened condensed milk (the magic ingredient!) that holds all the ingredients together into an ooey-gooey, delicious treat!

Today’s tasty treat was Magic Turtle Bars and these are super easy to make. A cookie crust with tons of turtle goodness all in one pan.

These Magic Turtle Bars are pure magic when you make them. Enjoy.

Turtle Bars
turtle bars
Turtle Magic Bars

Magic Turtle Bars

Hollie Schultz
A cookie crust combined with turtle goodness to make these Magic Turtle Bars.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 347 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups vanilla wafer cookies crushed
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 10 oz caramels chopped
  • 2 cups pecans coarsely chopped
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper or lightly spray or grease.
  • Combine crushed Oreo cookies and butter till combined and Oreo crumbs are moist. Spread evenly in bottom of pan, pressing down to form a crust.
  • Unwrap caramels and cut the squares into smaller pieces. I cut each square into four pieces.
  • Layer one bag chocolate chips evenly over crust. Top with the caramel pieces and pecans (save out about 1/4 cup for the top). Next sprinkle the second bag of chocolate chips and remaining pecans.
  • Drizzle sweetened condensed milk evenly over the entire pan, and try to make sure to cover all the nooks and crannies.
  • Bake for 28-30 minutes, just until condensed milk begins to turn golden. Let cool completely before cutting.
  • Store in airtight container. These bars are amazing served with vanilla ice cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 5gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 131mgPotassium: 194mgFiber: 1gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 258IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 105mgIron: 1mg
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