New Orleans satisfies its sweet tooth with pralines, a candy made from sugar, cream, butter, and nuts.

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Yield: 36 pralines
Prep Time: 40 mins
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    1 1/2  cups 
    granulated sugar
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    1 1/2  cups 
    packed brown sugar
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    1   cup 
    half-and-half or light cream
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    3   tablespoons 
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    2   cups 
    pecan halves

Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In the saucepan combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, and half-and-half. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugars. (This should take 6 to 8 minutes.) Avoid splashing the mixture on sides of the pan.
Carefully clip a candy thermometer to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 234 degrees F. (soft-ball stage). Reaching soft-ball stage should take 16 to 18 minutes.
Remove pan from heat. Add butter but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to 150 degrees F. (This should take about 30 minutes.) Remove thermometer. Stir in pecans. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until candy just begins to thicken but is still glossy. This should take about 3 minutes.
Working quickly, drop candy by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. If candy becomes too stiff to drop, stir in a few drops of hot water. When firm, store in a tightly covered container. Makes about 36 pralines.
Make Ahead Tip
  • Up to 3 days ahead, prepare Pralines. Store at room temperature in a tightly covered container.
Nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 117, Fat, total (g) 6, chol. (mg) 5, sat. fat (g) 1, carb. (g) 17, pro. (g) 1, vit. A (RE) 10, sodium (mg) 15, calcium (mg) 10, iron (mg) 0, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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