Pecan Pralines Recipe

Pecan Pralines are a favorite candy of the South, particularly in Louisiana and Texas.  

Anyone who has ever visited New Orleans will remember the wonderful Pecan Pralines that are for sale all over the city.  Pecan Pralines are a New Orleans tradition.  They also are a holiday tradition in the Southern States, as this gourmet candy is often given as a gift to celebrate seasonal holidays like Christmas.  This is a very easy candy to prepare candy that looks somewhat like a cookies, but they are not actually cookies, but a creamy candy with pecans.

History of Pecan Pralines:  According to legend, pralines were introduced to the South by French settlers in the seventeenth century.  The original treat featured almonds coated in sugar, however, pecans quickly replaced almonds due to their abundant availability in the south.  African-American women throughout the 1800s could be found selling pralines in various parts of New Orleans. The praline women would become the most popular of New Orleans street vendors, and they were often found around Jackson Square.  Source: Praline or Pecan Candy Vendors, by Chanda M. Nuntez

This is a very easy candy to prepare!

 

Pecan Pralines

 

More wonderful Candy Recipes.  Check here for information about Candy Temperatures.

 

 

Pecan Pralines Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Pecan Pralines Recipe
Servings: 36 small or 20 large pralines
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (firmly-packed) brown sugar (light or brown)*
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or bourbon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Important:  Have all of your ingredients handy before you start making the pralines.  Once you start the process of making pralines, it goes quickly.  This technique is known as Mise en Place.

  2. Butter a large sheet of wax paper or parchment paper; set aside.  You could also use a large silpad.

  3. Spread the pecans out in a single layer on a sheet pan.  Roast in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until toasted.  Set aside to cool and until ready to use.

  4. In a large heavy pan over medium heat, combine sugar, brown sugar, and evaporated milk; cook, stirring constantly until the thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 235 degrees F. or when a small amount of sugar mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard but not brittle threads.

  5. As soon as the internal temperature of the candy mixture reaches 235 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer, add the butter and vanilla extract.  Stir until the butter is fully melted and the mixture is well combined (about 1 minute).  Immediately remove the mixture from heat; set saucepan in a large pan of cold water to cool.

  6. When sugar mixture has almost cooled, beat with a spoon 1 minute or until it begins to lose it gloss.  Immediately stir in toasted pecan halves.

  7. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared buttered wax paper, leaving about 3 inches between each ball for the pralines to spread.  NOTE: Work quickly before mixture sets. If it thickens up, just place pan back on low heat to re-soften.

  8. Let cool until the pralines are firm, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

  9. When pralines have cooled and have become firm, wrap individually in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store in a covered container.

  10. It is best to enjoy your Pralines with two to three weeks after they’re made. They will not exactly go bad after that, but the sugar begins to re-crystallize and they lose some of their delicious creaminess.

  11. It is best to store pralines in an airtight container or storage bag.

  12. White spots (not mold) is the sugar begining to revert to its original crystalline form. The re-crystallization is what makes the white spots appear on Pralines. They won’t exactly go bad after that, but the sugar begins to re-crystallize and they lose some of their delicious creaminess.

  13. Makes 36 small or 20 large pralines.

Recipe Notes

* The type of brown sugar used will determine the color of the pralines.

 

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Categories:

Cajun/Creole    Candy History    Caramel    Mardi Gras    Nuts & Seeds    South Central   

Comments and Reviews

4 Responses to “Pecan Pralines Recipe”

  1. Mary Fontenelle

    What ingredient keeps pralines fresh for longer as I make them for Christmas for friends.I cool them and place in tin can or box which is lined with wax paper. A few times my sister ‘s and daughter’s pralines after 2 weeks or so had mold growing on them .I don t want to make anyone sick . Can you please advise me ?

    Reply
    • Linda Stradley

      It is best to enjoy your Pralines with two to three weeks after they’re made. They will not exactly go bad after that, but the sugar begins to re-crystallize and they lose some of their delicious creaminess. White spots (not mold) is the sugar begining to revert to its original crystalline form. The re-crystallization is what makes the white spots appear on Pralines. They won’t exactly go bad after that, but the sugar begins to re-crystallize and they lose some of their delicious creaminess.

      It is best to store pralines in an airtight container or storage bag.

      Reply
  2. Deborah Megason

    Love the pecan pralines

    Reply
  3. Brenda B

    I used this recipe last week for the very first time. Friends could not believe how delicious it was. Instructions were simple and easy to follow.

    Reply

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