Pralines

Appears in

Chocolates and Confections

By Peter Greweling

Published 2007

  • About

The word praline has various meanings, depending on the culture using it. Many Europeans use the word praliné in the way that Americans refer to chocolates—to mean a center dipped or enrobed in chocolate. Praline paste is a paste made of ground hazelnuts and caramel. Praline, pronounced PRAH-leen in some areas of the southern United States, particularly New Orleans, refers specifically to a confection consisting of pecans and a crystallized brown sugar mixture. Pralines are made by cooking the brown sugar mixture with pecans, cooling it slightly, and then stirring it to induce crystallization. As the mixture begins to crystallize, the pralines are deposited by spoon or scoop on parchment paper and allowed to continue crystallizing. Because of the method of crystallization, pralines tend to have a more crystalline texture than fudge or fondant and are best when consumed while fresh. Pralines are of Creole origin and have come to be synonymous with the hospitality of New Orleans.