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Christmas Pralines

From SOUTHERN COMFORT BED AND BREAKFAST

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups fresh pecan pieces

Directions

One of my fond memories of Christmas were  the tins that were filled with my Mom’s homemade candies. She would start weeks ahead to fill them with divinity, chocolate and peanut butter fudge and of coarse those melt in your mouth  creamy pralines.

Nowadays, most pralines are sold in small boutiques and gift shops in the French Quarter. I ‘m not a fan of those shops as I find them to be too sugary and they crystallize  very quickly. I much prefer my Mom’s recipe that is rich and creamy. Give it a try, you and your family will be fighting over them at the Christmas table!

Line baking sheets with wax paper.

Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the 1/2 cup of cream and both sugars until dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and simmer until mixture reaches 240 to 250 F, using a heatproof rubber spatula to gently push the mixture back and forth in the middle and around the edges. If the mixture begins to crystallize, add 2 tablespoons of the cream and continue to cook until it loosens up.

Stir in the pecans, turn of the heat, and give the mixture a final gentle stir, making sure to get into the bottom and corners of the pan. Using a wooden spoon, portion about 2 tablespoons of the mixure  onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1 inch between each praline. Usually by the time half the mixture is spread the remainder starts to stiffen, when this happens add the remaining  2 tablespoons and place saucepan back on a medium heat until it becomes creamy again. Continue to portion the remaining mixture. Cool for 30 minutes and transfer to an airtight container. makes about 3 dozens.

Pralines  last for up to 3 days before they start to crystallize. If they are not all eaten and that does happen….crumble them over ice cream.