Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
With a sharp knife, roughly chop the pecans reserving 15 halves to top the turtles. No need to be precise with the chopping, we are just looking for small pieces. Fifthteen halves will make for half the batch being pecan topped and the other half being sea salt topped.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner, make little piles of chopped pecans (about 1 tablespoon each).
Place the caramels and cream in a large, microwave safe bowl or the top of a simmering double boiler. Stir the caramels with the cream until they are melted and smooth. If using a microwave, use 20 second intervals and stir between each interval.
While the caramel is warm, pour 1 tablespoon of caramel over each pecan pile.
Place the tray in the freezer for a few minutes to set the caramel while you melt the chocolate.
Place the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl or top of a simmering double boiler and heat until melted and smooth. If using a microwave, use 10 second intervals stirring between each interval.
Remove the turtles from the freezer and drizzle chocolate over each caramel cluster.
Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle with sea salt or press a pecan half on the top.
Place the turtles in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set, then move to an airtight container for storage. Be sure to separate each layer of turtles with wax or parchment paper.
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