This was my contribution to our Thanksgiving Feast. I based it on a recipe from Bon Appetit.
If you love turtles (chocolate, not reptiles) then this is for you.
It's a little bit tricky for a novice, but if you follow the recipe closely, you should do fine. Make sure you read and understand the instructions before starting because there are a couple of steps that are a little time sensitive.
One technique that may be new to you is making the pastry in a food processor. Making amazingly easy pastry is one of the main reasons I got a Cuisinart. If you've never done it before, you'll be amazed at how simple it is.
Flaky pastry requires two things:
1. You must not overwork the dough (especially once you add water) because the gluten in the flour will make the dough chewy.
2. The dough must stay cold so the butter (or other fat) remains firm. Little bits of butter melting during the baking are what make pastry flaky and wonderful.
Using a food processor makes it easier to comply with those two requirements. It's so fast, that it's hard to overwork it, and it doesn't have time to warm up.
The second skill that you may likely not have done before is making caramel.
Just watch it closely so it doesn't burn. When you're boiling the sugar, let it turn to an amber color before adding the cream and butter. Add the cream carefully, because it will be EXTREMELY hot.
Here is the recipe.
I used pecans instead of macadamias and sprinkled a little fleur de sel because I like a little extra salt with my caramel.