Southern Pecans Praline


The American South is known for its sweet treats, but nothing tops the melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness of pecan pralines. These candied pecan patties combine the best ingredients – brown sugar, butter, and fresh pecans – for an irresistible southern confection.

What is a Pecan Praline?

A praline is a type of candy made from nuts, sugar, cream or milk, and butter. It has a soft, creamy texture that literally melts on your tongue. The origin of pralines dates back to 17th century France, but the candy took on new life in Louisiana using local pecans. The combination creates a sweet crunch in every bite.

History of Praline Recipe

While pralines came from French chefs, they have become a signature southern candy. The creamy vanilla and brown sugar flavors pair perfectly with Georgia pecans, which produces more than any other state. The praline takes the best of southern flavors for a unique treat you’ll only find below the Mason-Dixon line.

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What do pralines taste like?

The flavor of pralines is as elegant as the antebellum South. Picture the buttery sweetness of brown sugar and vanilla melting over crunchy, nutty pecans. Each bite lands with a delicate crunch before disappearing on your tongue. The brown sugar adds a hint of molasses for the most heavenly candy that keeps you coming back for more.

Pecans Praline Ingredients

Pecan pralines have only a few simple ingredients, but each plays an important role. Pecans provide crunch, brown sugar depth of flavor, while butter and cream lend a signature creamy melt. Though pecans are traditional, you can experiment with different nuts like almonds or walnuts.

How to make Pecan Pralines

Making pralines requires careful candy techniques, but anyone can master it. First, sugar, butter, cream, and nuts are cooked to just the right temperature before beating to thicken. Then, the mixture is quickly dropped onto parchment paper before the pralines set up. Don’t worry if your first batch doesn’t come out perfectly! Just call them “crumbly pralines” and use them as an ice cream topping.

Praline Pecans Recipe Tips

Follow these tips for pecan praline success: Use a candy thermometer, keep hot water handy to smooth seized candy, prepare extra ingredients for another try, and don’t overbeat once you add the nuts. Getting the right consistency is crucial for the pralines to set up properly. With a little practice, you’ll be an expert in no time!

How long do pecan pralines last?

Properly stored pralines stay fresh at room temperature for up to two weeks when sealed air tight. For longer storage in the freezer, place pralines in freezer bags and they’ll keep for a couple months. Just thaw overnight before enjoying these melt-in-your-mouth delights.

Can pecan pralines be frozen?

Freezing is the best way to store pecan pralines long term. Seal them air tight and they’ll last for months in the freezer, ready to thaw for a sweet southern treat anytime.

How to use Praline Pecans

A gift of homemade pralines puts anyone on the nice list! Box them up to share with friends and family or bring them along to a cookie exchange. You can also bake pralines into other desserts like cheesecake or brownies. Chopped pralines make delicious additions to ice cream as well for a southern-inspired sundae.

Southern Pecans Praline Recipe

Ingredients List:

  • Granulated Sugar: 1 ½ cups
  • Light Brown Sugar (packed): 1 ½ cups
  • Salt: ¼ teaspoon
  • Evaporated Milk or Half-and-Half: 1 cup
  • Butter: 6 tablespoons
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon
  • Pecan Halves: 2 cups

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a heavy pot, mix granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, evaporated milk, and butter. Stir over medium heat until sugars dissolve and the mixture boils.
  3. Continue cooking until it reaches 235-240 degrees F (soft ball stage). Then remove from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Add vanilla and pecans, stirring until the mixture starts to thicken and lose its gloss, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to overbeat.
  5. Quickly spoon the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. If it hardens, add hot water (a teaspoon at a time) to keep it scoopable.
  6. Let the pralines cool and set at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for 2 months.

Note: Pecans can be left whole or chopped, as per your preference, similar to the style of River Street Sweets pralines.

Make this indulgent Southern classic today and treat yourself to a delightful, nostalgic dessert!


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