Pralines

In the spirit of all things New Orleans… a Decatur Street favorite… mmm, I can smell ’em! The PRAH-leen (say PRAY-leen and die!). A perfect praline is crystalline in texture (it’s the sugar!) and creamy on the tongue almost like an overcooked caramel. While these aren’t hard to make, they can be testy if not watched… it’s easy to burn them if left alone. Get yourself a good candy thermometer and let’s make some…

Pralines

Ingredients:

1 pound light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups pecan halves

Mix the sugar, salt, milk and butter in a pot and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves in the evaporated milk. Add the pecans and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until it reaches the soft ball stage (234-240 degrees on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat. It will continue to cook off the heat, let it cook for a few minutes (about 2), then quickly stir until the mixture begins to thicken. It will lightly coat the pecans at this point and look similar to dulce de leche (a close cousin!). Drop by tablespoons onto parchment paper. When the pralines have cooled, gently lift from the surface with a knife and store in an airtight container. Makes about 2 dozen.

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