Caramel Armadillos. Because Caramel Turtles are soooooo yesterday.
I have this great, really easy, caramel filling. It’s great on ice cream, in brownies, in cupcakes and even by the spoonful. I love it. I decided this week that I wanted to make turtle cookies with it, and I was struck by how boring and predictable caramel turtles are. Why turtles? Who started this trend? I turned to Wikipedia for answers. I was still bored.
I decided to make caramel armadillos instead. Not only are they WAY cuter than turtles, but it’s really fun to say “caramel armadillos”.
Try it… five times fast!
You know you want to…
A couple weeks ago I was waiting for a friend to meet me for coffee and I stumbled upon these cute little chocolate molds on Amazon. They are supposedly Easter eggs, but when I decided to make Armadillos they came to mind as the perfect thing to use! All I needed was a tail and ears… and a tootsie roll would suffice!
SO caramel armadillos were born- and they are neither boring nor predictable!
Here’s how I made them: (printable recipe)
INGREDIENTS: (makes about 20 armadillos)
- 32 Kraft Caramels (unwrapped)
- 1 can (14 oz.) of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
- Whole pecans- about 3 per armadillo
- 1 bag (32 oz/2lbs) of Merckens Milk chocolate wafers.
- about 40 candy eyes
- 20 pink candy balls for noses
- at least 25 tootsie rolls, unwrapped
- Make caramel in a large saucepan over the stove by heating together the caramels, condensed milk and butter. Stir constantly until melted and smooth.
- Pour into a small bowl and allow mixture to cool a bit (so it doesn’t melt chocolate when poured in).
- Melt chocolate wafers in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted and smooth.
- Use a food-grade brush, or pastry brush to “paint” the inside of the egg mold with chocolate. Paint two layers to make it nice and thick- you should not be able to see any of the mold showing through.
- Freeze until hard (5 minutes or so)
- Place cooled caramel into a large zip-top bag, zip tightly closed and clip a corner off the bag using a pair of kitchen scissors.
- Squeeze a little bit of caramel in each cup, set three pecans on the caramel, pushing them gently into it, then fill the remainder of the cup up with caramel.
**Note: If you are making just armadillos, don’t fill to the top because you will add a layer of chocolate on top once the caramel is hard. If you are placing these on cookies, you can fill to the top and spread flat with a knife.
- Place these in the freezer to harden (5-10 minutes) and then paint a layer of chocolate on the top of the hardened caramel and freeze again until hard.
- Gently peel silicone mold away from chocolate and set on a plate to be decorated!
- Unwrap 20 tootsie rolls and place for just a few seconds in the microwave to soften a little.
- Pull and roll these into tails and use the side of a knife to press grooves along the length. Keep these on parchment paper until they harden up.
- Unwrap 4 to 5 tootsie rolls and cut them into little circles. Shape these into ears and keep with tails on parchment paper.
- To assemble, use dabs of melted chocolate to attach ears, candy eyes, nose and tails.
I made cookies for them to sit on. My original idea was for caramel turtle cookies, so I went ahead with the cookie plan and it does add stability to that tail (otherwise they are a little awkward to pick up!)
- I used my favorite chocolate cookie cut-out recipe from here, and it made a few more cookies than I had armadillos for, but they are yummy cookies all alone!!
- I used an egg-shaped cookie cutter a bit larger than the armadillo.
- I added melted green candy wafers to the top- just spooned some on and spread it near the edges- and set a “open” caramel armadillo on top. The green wafers seal up the bottom and keep caramel from leaking out!
- I set the tail on the melted green wafers and added flower sprinkles! Once everything hardened up I added the eyes, ears and nose.
So….cookies??? Candies???? It’s up to you! I think they would be fun on a cake.
How awkwardly wonderful would a caramel armadillo cake be???
My thoughts: These are delicious. They are also a lot of work (being honest!). It would help to have your tails and ears shaped ahead of time and I was wishing SO hard for an additional mold. That would save time too. That said- I will totally make these again!!!! They were well- loved by adults and kids alike! If this recipe seems like too much craziness for you, just make the caramel. Put it on ice cream and be happy! Enjoy!! ~r
Other recipes kids will love (click on a photo to see the recipe!):