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Copycat Fannie May Pixies

Copycat Fannie May Pixie cut in half with whole pixies in the background

These Copycat Fannie May Pixies consist of chopped, toasted pecans covered in rich and silky caramel.  The candy is then coated in shiny, tempered chocolate for an amazing treat that is perfect for every special occasion.  These chocolates make a great handmade gift and can be made easily in your kitchen. 

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Ingredients

Equipment

What is the Difference Between Pixies and Turtles?

Most of the difference between these two types of chocolates is in name only.

Fannie May describes their Pixies as, “smooth, buttery caramel and fresh pecans drenched in luscious rich chocolate.” Demet’s describes their turtles clusters as “bursting with crunchy pecans, creamy caramel, and all wrapped up in luscious chocolate.” There are some slight variations in the chocolate each company uses and their caramel recipe, but other than that, they are practically identical. The recipe below is my own version of Copycat Fannie May Pixies (because I prefer the flavor of pixies over turtles).

How to Toast Pecans in the Oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.  Chop pecans into large pieces and place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 5-10 minutes.  Stir the pecans halfway through baking so they brown evenly and don’t burn. 

Remove the pecans from the oven when they have browned slightly and are fragrant.  Put the nuts in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any small pecan crumbs.  Then, pour the nuts into a bowl to stop the pecans from continuing to bake.

Toasting pecans enhances the nutty flavor and aroma of pecans while making them crunchier. 

Preparation Steps

Place parchment paper on a heat-proof counter or in the bottom of sheet pan. 

Make sure you have all ingredients measured and ready before starting this recipe.  Each step needs to happen at the correct moment to make the caramel sauce.  If you stop to measure an ingredient, you might overcook or burn the caramel. 

Making the Thick Caramel Sauce

Place the corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the sugar one third at a time, stirring after each addition with a silicone spatula until the sugar is completely moistened. 

Increase the heat to medium high and continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Place the candy thermometer in the saucepan and continue cooking until the sugar is a rich amber color or until the temperature is 350°F/177°C. 

Pro tip for using a candy thermometer – make sure the base of the thermometer is completely submerged in the sugar mixture before it begins to boil.  The thermometer won’t read correctly unless you are tilting the pan so the sugar pools around the base of the thermometer.  This will make it easier to burn your caramel.  Choose a saucepan that is large enough that the caramel won’t overflow when it bubbles up after the cream is added, but not so large that you only have a thin layer in the bottom of the saucepan.

Caramel bubbling up violently after adding cream

Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the butter with a clean silicone spatula.  After the butter has melted, slowly pour in the warm cream while stirring constantly.  Be careful during this step because the mixture will bubble up violently.  This is why it’s best to use a saucepan with high sides.   

Continue to cook the caramel sauce, while constantly stirring and scraping the edges and bottom of the pan, until it reaches 248°F/120°C. 

Pouring caramel through a fine mesh strainer

Remove the pan from the heat and strain the caramel through a fine-mesh strainer into a heat-proof container. 

Why Do the Butter and Cream Need to be Warm When Added to the Caramel?

If you add cold ingredients to the caramel sauce, you can cause it to harden.  You will need to essentially re-melt the sugar which can take a long time.  If cold ingredients are added to the caramel, it’s also likely the temperature will drop significantly, which will also lead to longer heating times. 

Why Should You Pour Caramel Through a Fine-mesh Strainer After It’s Cooked?

Pouring the finished caramel through a fine-mesh strainer after it’s done cooking is a great way to ensure there are so lumps in your caramel sauce.  If the sauce wasn’t stirred well enough or if there is some sugar that wasn’t melted completely, you will be able to remove any lumps that could affect the final texture of your caramel.  

Making the Copycat Fannie May Pixies (Part 1)

Give the caramel a few minutes (approximately 5 minutes) to start firming up before the next step.  If the caramel is too thin, it will spread too much and you will have “flat as a pancake” pixies. 

While the caramel is cooling, place 12 rounded teaspoons of chopped pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet fitted with a sheet of parchment paper.  Then pour 2 teaspoons of caramel over the top of the pecans.  Try to cover at least some part of each pecan piece with the caramel so it can act as a glue to keep the pecans together.  Allow the caramel to set up.  I put mine in the fridge for about 5 minutes, which allowed the caramel to firm up.  You should then be able to peel the candy off the parchment paper and handle it without the caramel sticking to your fingers. 

Tempering Chocolate

Begin by chopping or grating the chocolate into small pieces.  Place two-thirds of the chocolate in the top bowl of a double boiler.  I like to use a metal bowl rather than a glass bowl because I find it helps change the temperature of the chocolate more quickly at all stages (i.e., when heating and cooling).  Make sure the water is hot, but not boiling.  If the water is boiling, turn it down.

Heat and stir the chocolate until it is melted and reaches 100-115°F/43-46°C.  I use a laser thermometer to determine the temperature and I usually take the chocolate off the heat a couple degrees before 110°F/43°C because the temperature will continue to rise slightly after you remove the bowl. 

Place the bowl on a towel to absorb any water from the bottom of the pan.  Water is the enemy of chocolate and even one drop can cause it to seize.  Then, add the remaining third of chopped chocolate (i.e., the “seed” chocolate) and stir until the seed chocolate has melted completely.  Continue stirring gently and constantly until the chocolate cools to 80-82°F/26-28°C.  Return the bowl to the top of the double boiler and heat the chocolate until it reaches 87-91°F/30-32°C.  This is a good working temperature for the chocolate. 

Making the Copycat Fannie May Pixies (Part 2)

Before dipping, pick up each caramel nut cluster and allow any extra pecan pieces to fall away. You don’t want nuts to fall off during the dipping process. Cover the pixies in chocolate by either dipping them into the tempered chocolate one at a time with a dipping fork or spooning the chocolate over the pixie while it’s on a candy dipping fork. Gently tap the fork on the side of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate and then place the pixie on a sheet of parchment paper to set up.

What Happens if the Chocolate Doesn’t Temper Correctly?

I always suggest testing the chocolate first before adding it to a treat.  To test it, dip a knife, spoon, or spatula into the chocolate and set it on the counter for a couple minutes.  If tempered correctly, the chocolate should begin to harden very quickly (within 3-5 minutes) and become firm and shiny.  When you touch it, your finger should come back clean.  If you start to see white or gray streaks as the chocolate dries OR if you touch it and the chocolate is soft and still wet after 5 minutes, it’s likely the chocolate has not tempered correctly.   

At this point, you have two options:

  1. You can try to fix the chocolate by re-melting and re-tempering following the tempering instructions above.  Pay very close attention your temperatures.  
  2. Cover the chocolates anyway. They will still taste amazing, even if they don’t look exactly perfect. If you go with this option, you should store them in the fridge to keep the chocolate hard. If they are left at room temperature, the chocolate will soften and melt easily.

Serving Pixies

Stack of Copycat Fannie May Pixies with a cut pixies on top

As soon as the chocolate has set completely, these chocolate, caramel, and pecan candies can be enjoyed.  These Copycat Fannie May Pixies make fantastic gifts when placed in a decorative box with paper candy cups or for a bite-sized treat for yourself!

Storing Pixies

Keep the pixies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in a cool, dry place.  I like to keep them in the fridge, so I don’t have to worry about the chocolate melting in my (sometimes) hot kitchen.  I also really like the texture of the caramel when it’s straight from the fridge.  That being said, chocolate aficionados suggest always eating chocolates at room temperature so the chocolate will melt and release its natural aromas and flavor. 

If stacking the Copycat Fannie May Pixies, put a sheet of parchment paper between the layers so the chocolates aren’t scratched and dented.  Also, avoid stacking them too deep so the weight of the chocolates doesn’t crush the ones at the bottom of the stack.

Copycat Fannie May Pixies in a single layer on a white counter

If you want to keep the candy for longer than 2 weeks, place the pixies in an airtight freezer container, and keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.  To eat, allow the candy to thaw in the refrigerator for one day to avoid condensation from forming on the candy.  The condensation can affect the pixies’ appearance and texture. 

After the chocolates have finished thawing in the fridge, allow them to come to room temperature before enjoying. 

Looking for More Candy Recipes?

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to know how it turned out!  Please let me know by leaving your thoughts below.  Or snap a photo and share it on Pinterest or Instagram (@windycitybaker).

One Copycat Fannie May Pixie cut in half with whole pixies in the background
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Copycat Fannie May Pixies

Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 24 pixies

Equipment

  • Digital scale (or dry measuring cup, liquid measuring cup, and measuring cup for sticky ingredients)
  • Small saucepan with high sides (or medium saucepan)
  • Silicone spatula
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Baking sheet
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Parchment paper
  • Small stainless steel bowl
  • Instant read thermometer or laser thermometer
  • Pastry brush
  • Fork or chocolate dipping fork

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (170g) corn syrup
  • cup (250g) granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp (40g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (200g) heavy cream, warm
  • ½ tsp (2g) vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp (1.5g) salt
  • 3 bars (12oz/340.5g) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup (110g) pecans, coarsely chopped

Instructions

How to Toast Pecans in the Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Chop pecans into large pieces and place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Stir the pecans halfway through baking so they brown evenly and don’t burn.
  • Remove the pecans from the oven when they have browned slightly and are fragrant. Put the nuts in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any small pecan crumbs. Then, pour the nuts into a bowl to stop the pecans from continuing to bake.

Preparation Steps

  • Place parchment paper on a heat-proof counter or in the bottom of sheet pan.
  • Make sure you have all ingredients measured and ready before starting this recipe. Each step needs to happen at the correct moment to make the caramel sauce. If you stop to measure an ingredient, you might overcook or burn the caramel.

Making the Thick Caramel Sauce

  • Place the corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the sugar one third at a time, stirring after each addition with a silicone spatula until the sugar is completely moistened.
  • Increase the heat to medium high and continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Place the candy thermometer in the saucepan and continue cooking until the sugar is a rich amber color or until the temperature is 350°F/177°C.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the butter with a clean silicone spatula. After the butter has melted, slowly pour in the warm cream while stirring constantly. Be careful during this step because the mixture will bubble up violently. This is why it’s best to use a saucepan with high sides.
  • Continue to cook the caramel sauce, while constantly stirring and scraping the edges and bottom of the pan, until it reaches 248°F/120°C.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and strain the caramel through a fine-mesh strainer into a heat-proof container.

Making the Copycat Pixies (Part 1)

  • Give the caramel a few minutes (approximately 5 minutes) to start firming up before the next step. If the caramel is too thin, it will spread too much and you will have “flat as a pancake” pixies.
  • While the caramel is cooling, place 12 rounded teaspoons of chopped pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet fitted with a sheet of parchment paper. Then pour 2 teaspoons of caramel over the top of the pecans. Try to cover at least some part of each pecan piece with the caramel so it can act as a glue to keep the pecans together. Allow the caramel to set up. I put mine in the fridge for about 5 minutes, which allowed the caramel to firm up. You should then be able to peel the candy off the parchment paper and handle it without the caramel sticking to your fingers.

Tempering Chocolate

  • Begin by chopping or grating the chocolate into small pieces. Place two-thirds of the chocolate in the top bowl of a double boiler. I like to use a metal bowl rather than a glass bowl because I find it helps change the temperature of the chocolate more quickly at all stages (i.e., when heating and cooling). Make sure the water is hot, but not boiling.
  • Heat and stir the chocolate until it is melted and reaches 100-115°F/43-46°C. I use a laser thermometer to determine the temperature and I usually take the chocolate off the heat a couple degrees before 110°F/43°C because the temperature will continue to rise slightly after you remove the bowl.
  • Place the bowl on a towel to absorb any water from the bottom of the pan. Water is the enemy of chocolate and even one drop can cause it to seize. Then, add the remaining third of chopped chocolate (i.e., the “seed” chocolate) and stir until the seed chocolate has melted completely. Continue stirring gently and constantly until the chocolate cools to 80-82°F/26-28°C. Return the bowl to the top of the double boiler and heat the chocolate until it reaches 87-91°F/30-32°C. This is a good working temperature for the chocolate.

Making the Copycat Pixies (Part 2)

  • Before dipping, pick up each caramel nut cluster and allow any extra pecan pieces to fall away. You don't want nuts to fall off during the dipping process. Cover the pixies in chocolate by either dipping them into the tempered chocolate one at a time with a dipping fork or spooning the chocolate over the pixie while it's on a candy dipping fork. Gently tap the fork on the side of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate and then place the pixie on a sheet of parchment paper to set up.

Serving Pixies

  • As soon as the chocolate has set completely, these chocolate, caramel, and pecan candies can be enjoyed. These Copycat Fannie May Pixies make fantastic gifts when placed in a decorative box with paper candy cups or for a bite-sized treat for yourself!

Storing Pixies

  • Keep the pixies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in a cool, dry place. Eat them at room temperature.
  • If stacking the Copycat Fannie May Pixies, put a sheet of parchment paper between the layers so the chocolates aren’t scratched and dented. Also, avoid stacking them too deep so the weight of the chocolates doesn’t crush the ones at the bottom of the stack.
  • If you want to keep the candy for longer than 2 weeks, place the pixies in an airtight freezer container, and keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. To eat, allow the candy to thaw in the refrigerator for one day to avoid condensation from forming on the candy. The condensation can affect the pixies’ appearance and texture.
  • After the chocolates have finished thawing in the fridge, allow them to come to room temperature before enjoying.

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I never would have thought of making these at home, but your post totally walks me through all the steps involved. It’s actually not as complicated as it seems! And these look absolutely delicious.

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