Pecan Pralines

Here we are in the last minute countdown to Christmas, y’all! Are you ready? I’m getting there. Still have a few more things to shop for and a few more recipes to make, but I’m doing pretty good. Best of all – the grandkids are coming tomorrow!! We’ll pick them up after school and they’ll be here until January 2. Yay! That also gives their mom and dad a much needed little break with some quiet time to themselves.

Continuing with my Christmas candy making – the next recipe up is Pecan Pralines. I think pralines are generally associated with the South and, according to online sources, they evolved from recipes brought to Louisiana by French settlers. The original French confection known as “praline” was individual almonds coated in caramelized sugar. New Orleans chefs substituted pecans for the almonds, added cream to thicken the candy and that became what is known throughout the South as pralines. Our pralines have a creamy consistency, similar to fudge.

And, of course, there’s always the debate over whether the word is pronounced “pray-leen” or “prah-leen”.  It’s pray-leens around here :-). Emphasis on the first syllable, please. With a little accent thrown in, too.

To make yourself a batch of southern Pecan Pralines, here’s what you do:

Combine the sugar, buttermilk, corn syrup, baking soda and salt in a heavy bottomed, large saucepan. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking over low heat and stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 234 degrees on a candy thermometer (about 10 minutes).

Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Stir in the nuts, butter and vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon until mixture just begins to lose its shine. This will take anywhere from 4 to 6 minutes. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Let stand until completely cool and set.

Enjoy!

Pecan Pralines
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Southern pecan pralines - creamy caramelized sugar with toasted pecans
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup whole (not reduced fat) buttermilk
  • 1 ½ tblsp. light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 1 ½ tsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Combine the sugar, buttermilk, corn syrup, baking soda and salt in a heavy bottomed, large saucepan.
  2. Cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring constantly.
  3. Continue cooking over low heat and stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 234 degrees on a candy thermometer (about 10 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the nuts, butter and vanilla.
  6. Beat with a wooden spoon until mixture just begins to lose its shine (anywhere from 4 to 6 minutes).
  7. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.
  8. Let stand until completely cool and set.
Notes
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Other praline recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:

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Comments

  1. says

    I definitely associate pralines with the south, along with most other delicious, indulgent, classic dishes :) How do you suggest toasting the nuts? I usually do mine on a non-stick skillet on low heat until they are golden, but I’ve heard some people do them in the oven.

  2. says

    Just wonderful – i am ready as i am going to be. We eat lots of gravlax and herring during the holiday season so that has to be prepared ahead of time and it’s all marinating :)

  3. says

    How fun to have the grandkids!! My oldest just got home from school last week and I am so happy to have him home – it really is what the holidays are all about! It’s a really good thing we don’t live closer Lana – otherwise I don’t think I’d ever make it out of your kitchen – these pralines look delicious!!

  4. says

    Lana, I LOVE pralines and have a hard time leaving them alone whenever they are around! I have never made them myself though – something I should try for when the kids visit in a couple weeks – it would make them happy and I wouldn’t every one by myself! ;)

  5. says

    indeed it is ‘pray-leen’…..one bite and you’re praying for another…
    theses looks wonderful Lana, have fun with the grandkids and have a beautiful Christmas – wishing ya’ll the best (in case I don’t get back here before)…

  6. Barbara Wiedemann says

    I’m making these tomorrow, but I could only get the lowfat milk, so I hope they turn out good. Always used evaporated milk so this will be a new experience. :))

    • Barbara Wiedemann says

      For Christmas I made 2 batches of pralines with evaporated milk, like I had always used, but then I did Lana’s and they were so good, that I ended up throwing out the others. These are the best I have ever tasted. Just be sure and use a big sauce pan. It bubbles up real good. Made another batch last week, better than the first.

  7. Candice says

    I would chop the pecans first – then drizzle on some real maple syrup, stir and fry in a heavy pan until the liquid disappears. They would probably “candy-up” pretty good in a hot oven too ( but I’d watch them every second as it would only take a second for it to burn). Don’t mind me, I’ve been on a maple syrup kick – especially on sweet potatoes !

  8. Sonya says

    Hi! I just wanted to thank-you for a great recipe!!! I made these tonight and they are delicious! I think I over-chopped my pecans in the food processor, but the toasted flavor still came through. This is a wonderful recipe!!!

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