I was so sad when Dear Coco shuttered there doors. They were truly one of the best! But there are many other dairy-free chocolatiers to praise. See our Dairy-Free Chocolate Reviews for numerous options. If your looking for gift-worthy chocolate specifically, see our Dairy-Free Chocolate Holiday Gift Guide and our Dairy-Free Valentine Chocolate Guide.
First there were the Truffles, followed closely by the Toffee Bars. Then came those amazing Salted Tiles and fun Hot Chocolate Spoons. Now, one of my favorite dairy-free chocolatiers has pushed beyond the culinary limits to introduce Dear Coco Caramel Turtles.
As to be expected from this completely dairy-free confection maker, Dear Coco Caramel Turtles are perfectly packaged in gift-worth boxes. They pop out easily and are very impressive on first sight. Each chocolate is shaped like miniature peanut butter cups rather than traditional “turtle” clumps. I liked the style, but did wonder if the flavors were just a little too odd. There was only one way to find out.
Tasting Notes for Dear Coco Caramel Turtles
First up for me was the Washington Apple. Fortunately, the taste of this two-bite treat was every bit as intriguing as the name. The sweet, rich dairy-free caramel was infused with a beautifully fresh, tart flavor. The gooey middle was en-robed in a silky, deep dark chocolate. And finally, the garnish was far more than an afterthought. The generous sprinkling of chunky sea salt along with the crunchy gluten-free pretzel stick duo brought another level of complexity to the whole experience.
Tony refused to trial this one at first, but after braving the Idaho Potato, I was able to convince him that the Washington Apple was worth a shot. That was definitely my mistake. Suddenly both flavors began disappearing! He loved the way it married two different desserts, caramel apples and salted chocolate pretzels. Each bite was alluring and addicting thanks to the pleasantly sweet aftertaste.
I thought the filling for the Idaho Potato was less gooey than the Washington Apple, but it was still quite tender and not overly sticky. This variety had more of a frat party meets elegant soiree vibe, yet somehow, it really worked.
Like a seesaw, the Idaho Potato teetered back and forth between sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy. But in the end it balanced out for a delicious chocolaty treat.
All in all, I see a rich future for Dear Coco Caramel Turtles and hope that they continue to whip up more one-of-a-kind flavors. Though Tony was initially hesitant to dive into these culinary creations, he returned for more, day after day, until every last chocolate cup was gone. Okay, I might have helped him.
The Facts on Dear Coco Caramel Turtles
Price: $35 per 12-piece box
Certifications: Dear Coco Caramel Turtles are Certified Kosher Pareve. They are also labeled as gluten-free and vegan, but we did not note those certifications.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Dear Coco Caramel Turtles are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian. However, always read the label and check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Also, processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Dear Coco website at www.dearcoco.com.
Flavors are culinary genius
These dairy-defying chocolate are like mini peanut butter cups, but the filling is a delicious gooey caramel that’s tender rather than overly chewy. The flavors are culinary genius, one with a sweet-tart apple cider infusion and generous salty contrast, the other more playful with a potato chip topper. Both are a true indulgence, but worth the splurge for impressing friends, family or yourself with how incredible dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan can be!