This past year, my family and I spent Thanksgiving in New Orleans. It’s seriously one of the coolest cities ever and it’s also where I began my love affair with pecan pralines. Everyone prior to our trip was raving about the beignets, insisting that we go to Cafe Du Monde. They were good, of course, but NOTHING compared to the pralines at the Magnolia Praline Company. I knew once I returned home I had to try and recreate them.
What better time to do so than on Valentine’s Day? Since Fonz has decided to flee the state to take photos for the magazine he works for, I made these babies all for myself (and my family, I suppose). That will teach him! When he returns he’ll get a girlfriend with 10 extra pounds! Juuuust kidding.. but actually not at all because these bad boys are basically pure sugar and butter. They’re definitely not the ideal dessert for a diet, but they’re delicious and it’s Valentines Day so who cares! My favorite thing about this recipe is that they’re so easy to make.
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar (packed tightly)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I add a little extra because I loooove vanilla)
- 2 cups pecan halves
- Candy Thermometer (I didn’t have one, so I had to use a meat thermometer. I felt very unprofessional, if I may say so.)
- Okay so, the first thing you want do is dump all of the sugar and milk into a medium saucepan. Make sure it’s a good size saucepan, because if it’s too small the sticky-ness will get everywhere and that’s no fun. Put the heat on low and stir. You have to stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once you don’t feel anymore grittiness of the sugar, bring it to a boil.
- Once you bring it to a boil, you want to lower the temperature. Stick your thermometer in and wait until it gets to 234° and then remove your saucepan from the heat.
- Now that it’s off the heat, add your butter and vanilla and basically just let it sit there. No stirring.
- Wait until the temperature gets down to 200° and then you can add your pecan halves! To be honest, I don’t even like pecans so I didn’t add too many. They’re good for texture purposes. If you like pecans, then you can go crazy. No judgement.
- Beat the mixture until it’s really creamy and thick. It takes a little while, but you’ll get there.(that’s Brandon, my future brother-in-law. If you’re reading this, Hi Brandon!)
- Drop large spoonfuls of goodness on to waxed paper.
- Wait until they have a hard outer layer and then enjoy!
I’d love to know if you end up trying these out! If you like sweet, then you’ll love these. Have a very happy Valentine’s Day, friends!