I have only been to the South a couple of times, but each time I have gone, I have actively sought out pecan pralines. They are by far one of my FAVORITE desserts in both flavor profile and just as-is.
However, I have only found Southern pecan pralines at the Atlanta airport, of all places. So you bet your booty I bought ALL OF THE PRALINES to take home and share with my California born-and-bred family. However, there was a small issue: I ate all the pralines on the plane.
They truly are unlike anything I’ve ever had here in California. A cross between a buttery cookie and a melt-in-your-mouth candy, they’re totally unique and have an amazing butter and brown sugar flavor. Inside there are pockets of crunchy, salty pecans for an amazing toasted, nutty flavor.
And if you’re like me, you’ll instantly fall in LOVE with these delicious creations!
Pralines can be finicky little devils, but I think I have mastered this into an easy, nearly foolproof recipe. Some of the issues people have is that the pralines never set up, or they spread too much. But I have tips that will ensure your pralines come out perfectly round and utterly amazing each and every time with my tested recipe!
To make these baddies, simply bring together some pecans, granulated white sugar, brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt together and boil it until a candy thermometer reads between 235° – 240° degrees F.
Then, once the mixture hits the sweet temperature spot, beat the daylights out of it with a wooden spoon until it thickens and gets almost cloudy-looking. This will ensure the candy is firm enough to set up properly.
And to make those perfectly round morsels of heaven? Simply spoon the hot candy (be careful!) into cupcake liners and let cool completely. Once they’re cooled and set, simply peel back the cupcake liners and you have evenly round little pralines!
And oh my gosh, they’ll be impossible to resist!
- 1 & ½ cups pecan halves or chopped pecans
- 1 & ½ cups granulated white sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
- ½ cup evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Line 2 cupcake tins with about 16-20 paper liners. Set aside briefly.
- In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the pecan halves, sugars, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stick in a candy thermometer and stir constantly while boiling until temperature reaches 235° to 240° degrees F, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and working quickly and CAREFULLY, beat the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and almost turns cloudy and opaque in color, about 2-5 minutes.
- Working fast, use a spoon or cookie dough scoop to portion the hot candy into each muffin tin, covering the bottom of the muffin cup. You should get about 16-20 candies, depending on how much you fill each cupcake tin. Cool the candy COMPLETELY. Candy is ready once it’s reached room temperature and is firm and solid. Peel away cupcake liners before serving.
Buttery, toasty candies filled with crunchy pecans, brown sugar, and aromatic vanilla. There’s so much to love about these pecan pralines!
Have a super sweet day!