Southern Praline Recipe
Addicting. If I had to sum pralines up in one word to someone who doesn’t know what this sweet, southern delicacy is, it would certainly be ‘addicting.’ I fell in love with this insanely rich, sugary and buttery candy in Savannah years ago. The brown sugar just melts in your mouth. I really struggle to stay away from them. So while everyone is busy making their Christmas fudge, I’m working on my traditional pralines (even though there’s never a bad time to make or eat them). They also make for nice little gifts because usually, most of our family and friends don’t make them .
⏱️ 30 mins
– 1/2 stick butter
– 1 c packed brown sugar
– 1 c white sugar
– 3/4 c heavy whipping cream
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp vanilla (homemade is the best!)
– 2 1/2 c pecan halves
* I strongly suggest that you have a candy thermometer available so that you don’t have to deal with the guesswork of knowing when they have cooked to the just right temperature.
** Have all of your ingredients and wax/parchment paper in order, and be ready to work fast–once they have been cooked and stirred to the proper thickness, they set quickly!
- Lay out a generous amount of wax or parchment paper on a nearby surface, such as the counter top or two cookie sheets (I just use my counter top).
- In a medium-sized heavy bottom saucepan, add butter, sugars, whipping cream, and salt. Cook over medium heat and stir consistently until butter has melted and ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Once the mixture begins to boil, stir constantly until the mixture reaches the temperature of 236 º (soft ball stage). Immediately remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla and pecans.
- Stir vigorously until the mixture just begins to thicken. You don’t want the mixture to be runny, or they will not form properly. You also do not want to stir for too long, because the candy hardens very quickly, and will be difficult to get them all scooped out into individual pieces on your sheets.
- Quickly scoop heaping spoonfuls of the contents onto your wax sheets. Let them sit for a little bit until they have fully set. Congratulate yourself for getting it right and store them out of your sight so that you don’t eat them all–I know from experience that you will have a tummy ache that you will regret 😂.
You can also dip or drizzle your finished pralines in chocolate, but I love them just as they are! It may take a little practice to figure out when stirring of the pralines is just right. If you didn’t get them right on your first try, no worries–just save what you have to use as toppings for treats, such as ice cream.