Christmas Pralines

One of my fond memories of Christmas were the tins that were filled with my Mom’s homemade candies. She would start weeks ahead to fill them with divinity, chocolate and peanut butter fudge and of coarse those melt in your mouth  creamy pralines.

Nowadays, most pralines are sold in small boutiques and gift shops in the French Quarter. I ‘m not a fan of those shops as I find them to be too sugary and they crystallize  very quickly. I much prefer my Mom’s recipe that is rich and creamy. Give it a try, you and your family will be fighting over them at the Christmas table!

4 tablespoons butter(unsalted)
1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 cups fresh pecan pieces

Line baking sheets using wax paper.

Melt butter at medium-low heat. Add 1/2 cup heavy creme with sugars, stirring until dissolved. Increase heat to medium, simmering until mixture reaches temperature of 240 to 250 F. Use rubber heatproof  spatula to carefully move the mixture to and fro in the center and occasionally around the edges. If mixture starts to crystallize, add a tablespoons of cream and continue cooking until it softens.

Add pecans and stir, turn off heat, gently give a final stir, getting all corners of the pan. Use wooden spoon to portion 2 tablespoons of mixture onto prepared baking sheets, leaving a 1 inch gap between pralines. Often by the time half of the mixture is spread the remainder starts to stiffen, so add the remaining  2 tablespoons and place saucepan back on a medium heat til it becomes creamy again. Continue to portion the remaining mixture. Cool 30 minutes then transfer to any airtight container. makes about 3 dozens.

Pralines usually last up to 3 days, if stored correctly, before they being crystallizing. If they are not all eaten and that does happen… crumble them over ice cream.

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