Pralines to die for

July 27, 2011

Candy Making


I finally got tired of paying highway robbery prices for Pralines and set out to give them a try.  Since doing this about a month ago I have made so many batches of them that I wonder if I could make this recipe in my sleep.  They have been given out to friends and family, mailed to a few different states and greedily horded by others.  They disappear from the box in such an alarming rate that makes me wonder if someone sneaks into my kitchen while my back is turn and adds  crack to them like The Husband keeps telling people.

Making Pralines is not difficult as long as you have a good candy thermometer.  They take very little time to whip together with the one drawback being that you have to work quick once the nuts go in or they will firm up in the bottom of your pan in a lightning quick span of time, then you will have one mega praline…which means you really would not have to share since you only have one.  On the flip side of that you do get to “sample” them in a quick timely manner to be sure they are fit for human consumption….I mean who will know that a batch of Pralines really does make about 1 1/2 pounds of Pralines, no one will be the wiser.  If you don’t tell, neither will I.

Pralines

2 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup heavy cream

2 TB butter

small pinch of Kosher Salt

2 1/2 c coarsely chopped Pecans*

Line two baking sheets with parchment**, set aside. In a heavy-bottomed 3 quart saucepan, combine sugar, baking soda, salt and cream.

I use a 6qt pot to allow enough room for the sugar to grow as the Baking Soda activates.

Over medium-high heat, cook until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally.

The temperature should be 235 on a candy thermometer.

Add butter and pecans, and stir until butter is melted. Drop spoonfuls of mixture onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.***

Work rather quickly, as mixture will become harder to scoop as it cools, it took me less that 4 minutes to dish out the Pralines below.    Allow Pralines to cool completely, about 1 hour.

* You can use any type of nuts you prefer.  I am leaning toward using Pine Nuts for the next batch to see how the buttery-ness of the Pine nuts play off the caramelized flavor of the cooked sugar.

** Since First making these I have gone to dosing them into Mini muffin cups, it makes them easier to transport and the  portions easier to gauge.

**I also use a Disher to portion the Pralines into the mini cups, though you could use the Disher right onto the parchment paper instead. I set up the mini cups while the sugar cooks down so that everything is ready to go as soon as you hit 235 degrees.

Now go play with your food.

WikiJan

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