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.
Other praline recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Homesick Texan’s Mexican Chocolate Pralines
- Homemade Pralines from Picky Palate
- Buttermilk Bacon Pralines from Ezra Pound Cake
What I was cooking…