I like any combination of nuts and caramel flavor, so pralines are right up my alley. Whenever I'm working in the South, which is very often, I find a local praline shop. It's a treat that's hard to find anywhere else, so at home, I love making my own! They're delicious and they make the perfect gift.
Special equipment: Candy thermometer.
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups pecans, roughly chopped into large pieces
1. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Combine the sugars, butter, 1/4 cup of the milk and the vanilla in a medium saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar reaches 240°F, about 13 minutes. Stir in the pecans, making sure they are completely coated with sugar. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons milk.
3. Carefully scoop 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it to form a small round praline. Working quickly while the sugar is still liquid, repeat to make the rest of the pralines, leaving about 1 inch between each one. Let the pralines cool for 15 minutes to set.
4. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Reprinted with permission from "The Family Table: Recipes and Moments from a Nomadic Life" by Jazz, Jurnee, Jake and Jussie Smollett (William Morrow Cookbooks, April, 2018)