You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Food & dining

Sweet treats at Turtle Alley Chocolates

A selection of turtles and other confections at Turtle Alley Chocolates in Gloucester.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Confections at Turtle Alley Chocolates in Gloucester.

A selection of turtles at Turtle Alley Chocolates.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

A selection of turtles at Turtle Alley Chocolates.

Continue reading below

Through the picture window of Turtle Alley Chocolates in Gloucester, you can see owner and chocolatier Hallie Baker stirring a copper caldron steamy with buttery caramel. Inside the aromas are enticing. Baker, aptly named, who has another shop in Salem, uses the supple caramel to make centers for her fleet of chocolate turtles ($24 a pound) that fill the cases. Each tiny reptilian confection is crafted by hand and comes in more than a dozen varieties, their thick glossy shells made with dark, milk, or white chocolate. Macadamias, almonds, pecans, or cashews peek out like flippers. Beneath the shells, the chunky critters are studded with Turkish apricots, dried cherries or strawberries, shredded coconut, or a dollop of chipotles in adobo. The combinations are a wonderful meld of taste and texture. “I’m inspired by my own cravings,” says the chocolatier. For your Valentine, the turtles and other confections, such as peanut-butter cups, nonpareils, chocolate-coated brittles, nut clusters, and toffees come in velvet, satin, and polka dot heart-shaped boxes (¼ pound to 1 pound for $7.95 to $39.95; 2 pounds for $60). “Making candy every day I’m rewarded because I make people happy,” says Baker. Turtle Alley Chocolates, 42 Rogers St., Gloucester, 978-281-4000; and 177 Essex St., Salem, 978-740-0660, or to go www.turtlealley.com.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week