When making praline for ice cream, keep in mind a couple of tricks. If you want large pieces, make sure to use plenty of nuts, as in this recipe, so it will be easy to eat-you don’t want the caramel pieces sticking to your teeth. If you prefer fewer nuts, chop the praline more finely, or better yet use a food processor.


  • 1⅓ cups (6 ounces) nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamia, pecans, pistachios, or any combination
  • cups sugar
  • ¼ cup water


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. If you are using hazelnuts, remove the skins.

Stir the sugar and water together in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Increase to high heat and continue to cook, not stirring, until the sugar has caramelized and is medium amber in color. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the nuts.

Spread the praline on a buttered baking sheet, separating the nuts into a single layer. Let cool until hard, about 1 hour. Break into coarse pieces or coarsely grind in a food processor using on-off pulses.

In Advance

Praline can be made at least 1 week in advance in nonhumid areas. Store in an airtight container. If the weather is humid, the praline will not last as long and will get sticky.