Pecan pralines (pronounced “PRAY-lean”) are made up of simple ingredients heated in a saucepan: sugar, pecans, milk and butter. But it’s the cooking that can get you. To get the perfect caramel-crunch praline, you’ll need to monitor the heat in the pan with a candy thermometer and spoon the mixture quickly. And don’t attempt to make these on a super humid day, your praline will crumble into a sugary mess. This recipe is from the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church cookbook, San Antonio, Texas.
You’ll also need:
Candy thermometer (not necessary, but helpful)
Parchment or wax paper
- 2 Cups white sugar
- 2 Cups light-brown sugar
- 2 Teaspoons vanilla
- 5 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 4 Cups pecans
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, plus a little extra
- 2/3 Cups whole milk
Combine all ingredients except the pecans in a large saucepan. Over medium heat, stir mixture until it comes to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring frequently until a candy thermometer reaches 232-240 degrees F (some cooks call this the “soft ball stage.”) If you don’t have a thermometer, watch for the glossiness to go away, then take the pan off the heat.
Remove from heat and stir in the pecans for another minute or until the mixture begins to thicken.
Using a large soup spoon, quickly spoon mixture onto trays lined with parchment paper. Let cool for about 20 minutes.