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Pecan Pralines

Pecan Pralines or as we call it at my house the ‘P’ candy – those delectable bits of sugary candy laced with fresh pecans. I’ve eaten pralines from both Louisiana and Texas – some were chewy, while others were the more sugary variety and just seemed to melt in your mouth . . . my favorite. While pralines aren’t a common candy product to be purchased at the local store, they can be ordered on line or purchased at most Mexican restaurants here in Texas. Personally I like to make them at home – especially over the holidays. I would make them more often – but I tend to want to eat all of them at once – like popcorn or potato chips.

I’ve been making them for several years now with varying degrees of success. However, this last batch I whipped up were without a doubt the best yet. (Hmmmmm – could it have been because I hadn’t eaten any in a year??!!) Maybe not . . . David thought they were my best effort yet as well. So here’s the recipe if you are a fan of pecan pralines and would like to make some at home.

I find it helpful before I begin to have all the ingredients measured out in separate bowls ready for use. I also have 2 cookie sheets lined with aluminum foil on standby ready for the finished product. You will need to have a wooden spoon for stirring, and while it’s not necessary to have a candy thermometer – the finished product will turn out much better if you do use a candy thermometer.

Ingredients:
  1. 1 Cup granulated sugar
  2. 1 Cup brown sugar, packed (I used light brown)
  3. 1/2 Cup REAL whipping cream
  4. 1-1/2 Cup fresh pecan halves
  5. 2 Tablespoons REAL butter
  6. 1/4 Teaspoon vanilla

1. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan combine the cream and sugars. Bring to a boil over medium heat – stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook until mixture reaches 226 degrees F on a candy thermometer (or until syrup spins a 2 inch thread when dropped from spoon)

2. Add butter, vanilla and pecans (this will cool the mixture). Continue to cook over medium heat and return the mixture to 226 degrees F (or until a little of the mixture forms a soft ball in water) – stirring frequently.

3. Remove pan from heat to wire rack. Let mixture cool for about 10 minutes or to a temperature of 200 degrees F. Stir candy for about 1 minute or until slightly thick but maintaining a gloss.

4. Drop by rounded tablespoons (3 inches apart) onto the foil lined cookie sheets. The pralines will spread into patties. If the mixture becomes too thick, stir in a drop or two of cold water.

5. Store pralines in an air-tight container in layers separated by waxed paper. Keep in a cool, dry place. Do not need to be refrigerated. Makes about 1 dozen.

Footnote:

In case you might wonder why we call it the ‘P’ candy – David knows I just love pralines and many years ago asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  I said I would like some pralines.  “Oh, P candy”, he said.  My birthday rolls around and I’m expecting . . .  and could hardly wait for my box of pralines.  But horrors!!!!  On opening my gift I didn’t have a box of delicious , creamy pralines . . . . I had a box of hard, knobby Peanut Brittle.  Yes, David had remembered the ‘P’ but that was about it.  From that day forth – Pralines have been known as the ‘P’ Candy.


2 comments to Pecan Pralines

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