Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pecan Pralines


It's not often that Paula Deen lets a guest come into her kitchen. On a recent episode she had "The Candy Man", Stan Strickland of Savannah's Candy Kitchen on and he made his pecan pralines. I happened to have the ingredients so I gave them a try. I've made pralines before and sometimes they turn out, and sometimes not. This recipe was easy and worked like a charm. These pralines are not gritty like some. I didn't quite let them cool down enough before I spooned them onto the paper, so they spread a little too much. Next time I will wait until they are a bit more 'cloudy' before I spoon them out. One of my 'taste testers' said it was better than a praline she ate in New Orleans, so I think that was a good compliment.

PECAN PRALINES

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup half-and-half
1/3 stick butter
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole pecans (I used large pieces)

Combine all ingredients except the pecans in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat stir mixture until it comes to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to stir. Spoon mixture up on sides of pan to melt any sugar that hasn't melted. Cook until mixture reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees) on a candy thermometer. Stir in the pecans. Remove from heat. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and becomes creamy and cloudy. Drop onto parchment paper, or buttered pan using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Let cool.

12 comments:

Bellini Valli said...

Oh Anj these are such a decadent treat :D

Deborah said...

I've never made pralines before, but now I want to!

Catherine Wilkinson said...

Anj,
Amazing! I just bought a whole bunch of beautiful pecan halves!
I'm going to make these, then give them to friends so they are indebted to me and they'll make me something great. Or just buy me a beer.

Anj said...

Val: Thanks! I think you would like these treats.

Deborah: If you've never made them before -- this recipe is truly the best I've tried.

Catherine: This recipe would do those pecans proud! I like your way of thinking -- LOL.

Emiline said...

I love pralines! I've made them a couple of times, but it's been awhile. I can't remember if they were gritty or not.

This sounds like a good recipe.

Carla said...

Ah yes, I remember this post! Never would've put the two together haha The Savannah Candy Kitchen had the regular kind plus a chocolate kind. I guess you would add cocoa powder or melted chocolate. You definitely need to try fresh, hot ones if you decide to go (which you should).

Gale said...

I made these and stirred the entire time, just as he mentioned on the show. Mine tasted good, but were grainy/sugary.

Anj said...

Gale: I know what you mean, I haven't made these again, so not sure if I would be lucky again. I did get to eat the 'real' ones in Savannah and they are really, really good. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Lianne in Bama said...

Thanks for posting this recipe. I tried Stan the Man's pralines in September with my mom. We loved them! I can't wait to make these for Christmas goodies!

Anonymous said...

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Emma said...

So I was so excited to try these as I live in CT so it is times few and far between I actually get the Savannah Candy Kitchen pralines. I followed the recipe to a T and cooked to 240• and then mixed for about two minutes till they looked glossy and then dropped them. By that time the pecans were coated and the mixture was getting thick. To my dismay, the pecans never hardened on the pan, when I tried to lift them later they just crumbled. The taste was delish but they never seemed to make it to the right hardness on the pan. What did I do wrong? Should I let them cook a few degrees more, or beat instead of stir for longer when off the heat? I am so obsessed with these and will continue to make them day after day until they ce out right, blowing all my dough on pecans! I stirred pretty vigorously throughout the entire cooking time which was a good 45 minutes. Should I use a wooden spoon? Last question, do you think adding a tiny bit of vanilla would make them even better? I'm not sure how to make mine a bit less grainy as I stirred the whole time and the sugar was certainly dissolved. No matter what, I am off to try again until they come out just right! Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated ☺

Anj said...

Emma: I wish I had some help for you. I think I really lucked out with this recipe. I live in a very humid climate and it can be iffy for candy making. I did use a wooden spoon to make them and I do believe many recipes do call for vanilla. Here is a website that has all kinds of good tips on making pralines. I think some of your questions are answered here. I agree that you can spend a fortune on the pecans while getting this technique down. Maybe substitute some almonds instead to save some $$. Good luck and let me know how you do.
http://www.southerncreations.com/Pralines/pralines.html#Problems