Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet (use one that will fit in your freezer) and split the dates in half, removing the pits. Arrange them on the baking sheet. This recipe works best if your dates are soft and squishy, but if the dates feel dry, you can soak them in warm water for 15 minutes before getting started.
Top each date half with 4 pecan halves, making the shape of an "X" on top. Press the pecans into the dates, so they'll stick in place.
Use a spoon to drizzle about a teaspoon of melted chocolate over the middle of the pecans, making a shell on top. Make sure the pecan legs are still sticking out of the chocolate to create the "turtle" look.
Cut 6 pecan halves in half, cross-wise, to create smaller turtle "heads." Place one half on each of the 12 turtles that have been coated in chocolate. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt on top, the place the pan in the freezer to set until the chocolate is firm, about 10 minutes.
Serve the chocolate turtles right away, or transfer them to an airtight container to store in the fridge for up to a week. You can serve them chilled for a crunchy texture, or let them come to room temperature again for a softer consistency.
Nutrition information is for 1 of 12 chocolate turtles. This information is just an estimate, and not a guarantee. If you need a vegan dessert, be sure to check the label on the chocolate chips to make sure they're dairy-free.For a simpler preparation, you can press 1 pecan half into each date half, then top with chocolate. They won't look like turtles, but they are faster and will still taste amazing!