New Orleans-Style Pralines

New Orleans Style Pralines

New Orleans Style Pralines


Makes about 34 pralines (1-1/4 pounds)


2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons bourbon or cognac
1-1/2 cups pecan halves


  1. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Combine brown sugar, half-and-half and salt in heavy 2- or 2-1/2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. Attach candy thermometer to side of pan, making sure bulb is submerged in sugar mixture but not touching bottom of pan or use instant-read thermometer. Continue boiling about 20 minutes or until sugar mixture reaches soft-ball stage (235° to 240°F) on candy thermometer, stirring occasionally. (Watch carefully because candy will be grainy if overcooked.) Remove from heat; stir in butter and bourbon. Stir in pecans.
  3. Beat with wooden spoon 3 to 4 minutes until temperature drops to 155°F on candy thermometer and mixture is thickened and glossy. Quickly drop pecan mixture by level measuring tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. (If mixture becomes too thick, stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons hot water and reheat over medium heat until mixture reaches 155°F on candy thermometer.) Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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