Source of Recipe
From "Sweet Home Café Cookbook" by Albert Lukas
"Although they are named for a seventeenth-century French diplomat, César, duc de Choiseul, comte du Plessis-Praslin, these dropped sugar candies are all-American. Sometimes called pecan candy in New Orleans, they were hawked on the streets by African American candy sellers who easily appealed to the city's sweet tooth. The American praline has culinary cousins throughout the hemisphere and a similar candy is called monkey meat in Charleston, South Carolina, tablettes de coco in the French Caribbean, and pé de moleque in Brazil. The nut changes with the geography, but the sweet dropped patty embedded with nuts is the same."
List of Ingredients
◦ 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
◦ 1 cup packed light brown sugar
◦ 6 tablespoons salted butter
◦ ½ cup half-and-half
◦ 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract, preferably Bourbon vanilla
◦ 1 ½ cups shelled jumbo pecans
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a deep, heavy saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and half-and-half. Cook over medium heat until the mixture boils, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan: do not let the thermometer's tip touch the bottom of the pan.
Once the boiling sugar reaches 240° F, lower the heat to maintain that temperature and cook for three minutes longer.
Add the vanilla extract and stir well.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pecans. Continue to stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Thickening will occur as the sugars begin to cool; a creamy texture will be achieved by the constant stirring.
Once thickened, spoon the warm mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, forming 2 ½-inch praline clusters. Let the pralines cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes 18 pralines