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Smollett Siblings' Pralines

makes 24 pralines


  • 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

Chef notes

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.



Line a baking sheet with foil.


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.


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.


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)