Like a great deal of French cooking that was “borrowed” by the residents of Louisiana many years ago, pralines, Creole style, underwent a sea-change in preparation from one country to the other. The classic praline of the French kitchen is made by cooking almonds, preferably whole, with sugar, until the sugar becomes liquid and then becomes caramel-colored. The mass is spooned onto a greased board and allowed to cool. When it cools it becomes brittle and can be cracked easily. The Creole version of this confection is made with pecan halves cooked with brown sugar and butter to the soft-ball stage. It is then spooned onto a flat surface. When it is cooled it is fairly soft to the bite; it is not brittle.
© 1987 Craig Claiborne estate. All rights reserved.