Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pecan pralines

On my last day of work before travelling to Texas this winter break, one of my co-workers demanded, "Bring something back for us. Something edible."

I kept this in mind for the duration of the trip, first considering salsa, or maybe pico de gallo, then settling on pralines. My dad was kind enough to pick up a box of praline-like candies, called pecan chewies. And while these treats are delicious and do contain pecans, they are not pralines. So upon arriving in Montreal I decided to make my own.


(Be sure to bookmark this for next year because pralines make an excellent addition to the standard Christmas cookie package.)

Pralines (pronounced PRAY-leens in Texas) are generally found in Mexican food restaurants and dodgy convenience stores, although their origin is French (via Louisiana, where they are pronounced PRAH-leens). I'd say they are comparable to peanut brittle or fudge (in theory). The best pralines have a LOT of pecans and snap apart easily. This recipe worked perfectly, and even though the only change I made was cutting it in half, I will reproduce it here:
Pecan pralines
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk or soymilk
1.5 tsp butter
2 cups pecans
  • Combine all the ingredients in a pot. Heat on medium-high until the mixture comes to a boil, then heat and stir for 5 (or so) minutes. Remove from heat and stir until the mixture looks a bit dull (or just less glossy), about 2-3 minutes.
  • Spoon the pralines onto a lined baking sheet and cool for at least 20 minutes.

Note: Definitely DO NOT eat them all in one sitting. I don't even recommend eating more than one at a time.

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