The sugars and evaporated milk begin the journey over low heat. Candymaking is a take-your-time process. Patience!
See the digital probe in the back? I use two thermometers for accuracy. It will foam up, then die back before it reaches 236 degrees.
Find a large surface, cover with a couple sheets of wax paper, then butter the paper to make praline recuse easy.
Nice, dark brown sugar pecan pralines. They spread less as the mixture cools. Use a large spoon to drop the candy onto the wax paper.
Bust 'em up and use the pieces for ice cream topping. Chop them and sprinkle on a creamy frosted cupcake. Use your imagination!
The gloss has gone, the edges are tinged with white. The pralines are almost ready to lift from the wax paper. Start at a corner, lift the paper and, from under the paper, gently poke the edges and bottom of the praline to loosen it. You're done!
Not all the pecan pralines will pass muster. Recycle by breaking out the candied pecans for other uses, and put them in a container, refrigerate and use on hot cereals, or desserts.
Better than a cookie (sorry bakers, but this is a Creole group) and with the true taste of New Orleans, Creole Pralines are one of the signature treats in the Big Easy!
It is time to play 'soft ball', and we're not talking the sport - we're talking Creole candy. When the recipe calls for your concoction on the stove to reach the 'soft ball' stage of cooking, you're looking at a temperature between 234 and 240 degrees F. Thermometers can be accurate or they can goof up your dish in no time by being off just a few degrees. I have a thermometer in the oven and, when I am preheating, I hang the digital probe in there to confirm that oven temps are as close to spot on as possible. There is little leeway in candymaking - that chewy caramel can quickly become a tooth busting crackle.
We're doing the economical 'double batch' here, so we don't waste any of the evaporated milk.
So, if you haven't made candy before, here's a tip when making these Creole Pralines. Use your candy thermometer BUT, when the thermometer reaches that magic 234-237 degree mark, drop a little of the candy syrup into a glass of cold water. If it foms a soft ball which flattens out when removed from the water - the candy is ready!
Remember: as the temperature rises, it should take a little longer to go up degree by degree. Things move quickly up to 200 and after that, the pace slows. So keep your heat on a cautious med-low the whole time - don't be tempted to use med to speed things up.
Also - allow a few hours of 'drying' or tempering time before you mess with the pralines. They start out glossy. You need to keep away until they become dull and opaque. Last thing: let the hot mixture cool just a bit to thicken before you drop each praline. This will give you a thicker praline, with less 'spread'. OK? Message me if you have any questions or problems.
Now - make this treat - and remember, Foodessa has both frozen dessert AND ice cream sites. A busted-up Creole Praline will brighten many desserts!
- 2 C dark brown sugar
- 2 C granulated white sugar
- 1 can (12oz) evaporated milk
- 1-1/2 C pecan halves (you can increase to 2-3/4 C, if you want alot of nuts)
- 4 T sweet butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- Get your heavy-bottomed sauce pan on a medium burner with the candy thermometer ready and set to 234 degrees - be alert!
- Slowly bring the evaporated milk, sugars and salt to a boil - and don't mess with the candy!
- When that thermometer hits the 237 mark, do the 'soft ball' test. IF the soft ball stage is met, IMMEDIATELY remove the saucepan from the fire and whisk the candy syrup until it is creamy
- Stir in the butter, vanilla and pecans
- Drop by spoonfuls on buttered wax paper and allow to cool - this will take some time, be patient!
- Some folks, for a neater appearance, like to place a single 1/2 pecan in the center of each spooned-out praline, and not have a mess-o-nuts all over the candy (like mine in the photos). Your choice.
- You should get about 30 Creole Pralines out of this, so make a second batch while you wait for that first batch to cool...because they're going to go like, well, Creole pralines...
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 44g|
|Recipe makes 30 servings|
|Calories from Fat 30||20%|
|Total Fat 3.52g||4%|
|Saturated Fat 1.07g||4%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 29.37g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.3g||1%|