Craving something sweet and crunchy? This pralines recipe will be your new dessert BFF.
Pralines are a Southern candy treat made with simple ingredients.
With just butter, sugar, vanilla, milk, and nuts, you’ll have irresistible homemade pralines.
Whatever the occasion, pralines are sure to be loved by all.
They make great gifts, wonderful snacks, and a satisfying dessert. Plus, you can use them for other recipes, too!
Pralines take just about 30 minutes to make and they’ll be gone even quicker.
These buttery, crunchy, and nutty pralines will disappear before you know it.
This one is a keeper!
So what are pralines, you may ask? Well, pralines are a crunchy, buttery caramel treat that’s loaded with pecans.
You can eat them as a snack or dessert. You can also crush them up and add them to many different baked goods.
Use them as an ice cream topping, fold them into fudge, or coat them in chocolate.
My favorite dessert is pralines on top of vanilla ice cream. It’s absolutely unmatched!
Pralines are usually made with a few simple ingredients like butter, sugar, cream, and nuts.
You can even experiment with different types of nuts.
No matter how you enjoy them, you have to try them at least once.
These will soon become a staple in your house and at parties.
Toasted pecans – Obviously, you can’t make pecan pralines without pecans. Toasting them brings out the delightful nuttiness that makes these pralines taste incredible. You can leave them whole, chop them up, or use a combination of both!
Sugar and brown sugar – Using a combination of both sugar and brown sugar is the best for pralines. The rich molasses flavor that comes from the brown sugar is heavenly.
Too much white sugar will prevent the mixture from being caramelized enough. While too much brown sugar may produce an unpleasant texture.
Using both makes for the perfect amount of caramelization without any grainy texture.
Milk – This adds a little bit of creaminess to the caramelized sugar. You can swap for different milk options if you like. Try heavy cream, half and half, or evaporated milk.
Butter – It gives the pralines a lovely flavor that makes them irresistible. Butter also keeps the pralines from getting too firm. Use salted or unsalted for this recipe. However, if you use unsalted, I recommend adding a pinch of salt to the recipe.
Vanilla extract – For that sweet hint of flavor. It’s subtle but so necessary.
How to Make Pralines
- Prepare your baking sheet. You want to have a baking sheet ready to go. This way you can pour the mixture right when it reaches the correct temperature. Line it with aluminum foil, parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat.
- Combine the ingredients. Add all of the ingredients to a large saucepan and stir to combine. Be sure to stir well because you will soon have to stop stirring.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Let the mixture come to a boil and leave it undisturbed. Don’t stir or mix once you reach this point.
- Watch the temperature. Using a candy thermometer, look for the temp to reach 240º Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, spoon a small amount of syrup into a bowl of cold water. A soft ball should form in the water. When you remove it and place it on a flat surface, the ball should flatten. This is how you’ll know it’s ready.
- Spoon it out. When it reaches the correct temperature, spoon it out onto the prepared baking sheet. You can do these as little or as big as you like.
- Let it cool. Let the mixture cool completely and then they’re ready to enjoy!
Tips for the Best Pralines
Use the right equipment. Using a candy thermometer is the best way to know if your caramel is ready. If not, they might end up being too soft or chewy, or too hard.
Don’t stir! Stirring during the boiling period will cause the sugar to seize up. Resist the urge and just leave it alone.
Buy extra. You may want to keep extra ingredients on hand in case something goes wrong. If you’re just starting out in your candy-making journey, this recipe might take practice.
Be patient. It may take a while for the mixture to get to the right temperature. Just wait it out until you see 240ºF on that thermometer.
Work quickly. When you’re ready to start scooping the pralines onto your baking sheet, be fast! If you take your time, the pralines will start to firm up in the cooling pot.
Get nutty! Experiment with different types of nuts. Try hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, or pistachios. You can even play around with combinations of nuts.
Add a boozy twist! For an adults-only version, add a shot of bourbon or rum to the mixture.
Toss them around. Toss the pralines in different ingredients to coat them. Try cinnamon, cocoa powder, or chili powder.
You want to do this just before they’re completely hardened.
The slight stickiness will allow the right amount of powder to adhere to the outside.
Go tropical! Sprinkle some coconut on top of the pralines before they firm up completely. It will add a light tropical flavor that’s great during the summer months.
It’s not an ex(tr)act science. Play around with different extracts instead of vanilla. I love using almond or maple.
How to Store Pralines
I doubt these incredible treats will last much longer than an hour.
However, if they do, you’ll need to know how to store them properly.
You won’t want to waste any of that yummy goodness just by storing them wrong.
Just in case you actually need to store these delicious morsels away, here’s how:
Grab an air-tight container and place the pralines inside.
Use parchment paper to separate each layer so they don’t stick together.
You can also wrap them individually in plastic wrap before putting them in a container.
You can keep them on the counter in their air-tight container at room temperature. They’ll last about 2 weeks.
You don’t need to refrigerate them at all. These make great gifts because you can ship them and they’ll be just fine.
If you want to save pralines for longer, you can freeze them.
The best way to preserve their scrumptiousness is to start by wrapping them individually.
Use plastic wrap before placing them all in an air-tight container.
Pralines will last about 2 months in the freezer.
When you’re ready to enjoy them, thaw them slowly in the refrigerator.
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