Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
Place three pecan halves in a Y-shape on the parchment paper. Repeat with remaining pecans. Flatten caramel candies slightly and then place in the center of each pecan bunch. Place in the oven and bake just until caramel is melted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let the candies cool on the pan.
Combine shortening and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 30 second intervals until completely melted (about 1 minute). Spoon a dollop of chocolate on top of each caramel. Let stand for 2 minutes; sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes.
Store and serve the candies at room temperature
Semisweet chocolate is the usual covering for these candies, but I love using bittersweet chocolate. This gives the turtles a more grown-up flavor. Consider the kind of chocolate your guests or gift recipient loves most. Milk chocolate and semisweet chocolate are usually the most crowd-friendly.The addition of shortening keeps the chocolate from blooming (developing chalky spots). If you don't like using shortening it can be omitted from the recipe.These caramel candies are almost too firm to eat right out of the refrigerator. Allow them come to room temperature before serving them.