Candy, Dessert

Southern Pecan Pralines

I have many fond memories of going to Savannah’s Candy Kitchen on River Street and enjoying their amazing pralines.  For years, we’ve wanted to recreate these delicious candies at home, but haven’t got around to it until recently.  Trust me, they’re not hard to make, and are so addicting you’ll definitely want to make a lot of them!

plate of pralines with a wooden spoon

The Sweet History of Pralines

Although the first time I had pralines was in Savannah, Georgia, these delightful treats actually originate in New Orleans–and ultimately, France!  Way back in the seventeenth century, a chef first made caramel-coated almonds and called them praline.  The story goes that French nuns brought this recipe with them to Louisiana, where they trained young girls to make pralines, although with a few changes.  Almonds weren’t readily available in Louisiana, so pecans were substituted.  Cream and butter were added to thicken the candy and make it the amazing confection we know today.

How to Make Pralines

All you need is four simple, yet delicious, ingredients to make the best pralines.  Start with real cream, real butter, sugar, and fresh pecans.  Use the best quality, freshest ingredients you can find for the best tasting pralines.

ingredients for making pralines

Put the butter, sugar, and cream into a saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture reaches exactly 230 F.

some praline ingredients in a pot

Immediately take the pot off the heat and stir in the pecans.  Keep mixing for 45 seconds to a minute, until the candy has thickened and lightened in color.  Spoon it quickly onto the cookie sheets and allow to cool.  Enjoy!

pralines on a cookie sheet

How to Pronounce “Praline”

There’s a debate about how to pronounce the name of this Southern candy.  Here in south Georgia, they’re always called PRAY-lines, but in New Orleans, they’re only known as PRAW-lines, reflecting French roots of the name.  However you say the name, you’ll enjoy making and eating this delicious candy!

Have you tried these other Southern desserts yet?  You don’t want to miss out!

person holding a bowl of peach cobbler white plate of banana pudding with a drink and two spoons person holding a white plate of sour cream pound cake with fork

Did you make these pralines?  We’d love it if you could leave a recipe rating and review.

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holding a plate of pralines

Southern Pecan Pralines


  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 24 pralines
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Southern pecan pralines are an indulgent, creamy candy that’s popular in New Orleans and Savannah.  Pecans, brown sugar, butter, and cream are all you need to make this simple, no bake homemade candy.  They’re definitely addictive!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups pecan halves (218g)
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed (400g)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (118 ml)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (115g)

Instructions

  1. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and pull out four soup-size spoons.  Measure out all the ingredients before starting.
  2. Pour the pecan halves into a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir constantly until the nuts smell and taste toasty, then immediately put the nuts in a bowl to cool.
  3. Place the sugar, butter, and cream into a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir constantly until the mixture reaches exactly 230 F on a candy thermometer (almost the soft ball stage).  Immediately remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 15 seconds.
  5. Dump in the toasted pecans and stir vigorously for 45 seconds to a minute, until the mixture has thickened and lightened in color.  The pecans should no longer sink down to the bottom.
  6. Place a spoonful of the praline mixture onto a prepared cookie sheet, using another spoon to push the hot mixture off the spoon.  Repeat until all the pralines are on the cookie sheets.  Get a helper for this process, and work quickly before the praline mixture hardens.
  7. Allow the pralines to set completely (about 15-20 minutes) before removing from the parchment and serving.

Notes

  • Cut the sweetness by using white granulated sugar and salted butter.
  • If the praline mixture begins to harden while you’re spooning out the pralines, set the pot over low heat and stir constantly until the mixture is soft again.
  • If you’re making a full batch of pralines, make sure to have a helper spoon the pralines; if not, make a half batch.  Don’t double this recipe unless you have multiple helpers.
  • Store leftover pralines in a metal cookie tin at room temperature.

Keywords: pralines, pecans

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