Friday, December 16, 2011

Pecan Pralines

My husband's favorite Christmas sweet is Pecan Pralines.  They are  delicious confections made from  lots of  butter, sugar, cream and of course pecans.  My favorite recipe is from "Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen."   The pecans taste great when they are cooked in the syrup and not just added at the end.  Using both pecan pieces and pecan halves make the pralines extra good and crunchy.

When making pralines, I have all the ingredients premeasured, cookie sheets lined, and all my equipment - spoons and candy thermometer ready to go.   I also read and re read the recipe.  The cooking process requires your undivided attention - you are constantly stirring the syrup mixture.  Use a wooden spoon when you are making the pralines.   The candy needs to be stirred while it is hot and a wooden spoon will not absorb the heat like a metal spoon.

I always have a bowl of ice water handy.  They syrup can "spit" at you while you are stirring, or you can get some on your hands as you are spoon dropping the pralines.

Last, but not least,  I have a good candy thermometer.  It saves me alot of frustration.   I have not been  able to master the softball stage in candy cooking.

                                                                      Pecan Pralines
                                             From Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen

Special Equipment:  Candy Thermometer, Wooden Spoon

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1.  Line  two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a 3- quart  heavy bottomed saucepan melt the butter over medium to medium high heat.
3. Add the sugars and the cream to the melted butter.  Cook 1 minute stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
4. Add the milk and chopped pecans.  Cook 4 minutes more, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking and stirring 5 minutes.
5. Add the pecan halves and vanilla.  Continue stirring and cooking until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on the candy thermometer.
6. Remove the pan from the heat.  Quickly and carefully drop the batter onto the cookie sheet(s)  by heaping spoonfuls.  Use a second spoon to scoop the batter off the first.
7. Cool completely and store the pralines in an airtight container, or wrap each praline in plastic wrap or foil.

Makes about 24 pralines

Cooking and Stirring

Spooning Out Pralines

Bowl of Ice Water  

 Pecan Pralines


  1. Oh, I bet these are incredible!! What a fabulous confection for the holidays, Geri..yum!

  2. wow...this is just awesome...
    new to your your space..
    excellent posts with yummy presentation..
    Am your happy follower now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  3. Thank you Lizzy. Happy Holidays.


  4. Thank you Jay for the great comments on my blog. As soon as I post this, I am going to go visit your blog. Happy Holidays.