Creole Pralines

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.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ pound butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 4 cups pecan halves

Method

  • Combine all the ingredients except the pecans in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook 20 minutes, stirring constantly, after the boil is reached.
  • Add the pecans and continue cooking until the mixture reaches a temperature of 236 degrees on a candy thermometer, or forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water.
  • Arrange several sheets of wax paper over layers of newspapers.
  • Stir the praline mixture well. Drop it by tablespoons onto the sheets of wax paper. Let cool. When cool, stack the pralines in an airtight container, with wax paper between the layers.
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