New Orleans Pralines

So I have a confession to make-I LOVE pralines! These melt in your mouth delicious nutty candies are addicting. Pralines can be found in convenience stores, supermarkets, and gift shops around New Orleans. There are several candy factories in the Big Easy where visitors can watch the simple, but fascinating, process by which sugar, cream, butter and nuts are united and transformed into pralines. There are so many variations of the traditional praline such as those flavored with shredded coconut, rum, vanilla, chocolate and peanut butter. I wanted to feature the traditional praline that started it all! Pralines were first created in the 1700’s by a French chef for the French diplomat Cesar du Plessis-Praslin. It was first created using from almonds that were coated with a cooked syrupy sugar. The praline sensation spread throughout most of the continent, people couldn’t get enough! When a New Orleanian businessman was visiting Paris he fell in love with the pralines. He brought some home and asked his head cook to replicate them. Plentiful pecans were substituted for the almonds and heavy cream was added to thicken the candy, creating what became known throughout the American South as the praline. Pralines have a creamy consistency similar to fudge and is equally addicting. :)

 

New Orleans Pralines

Yield: about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 cups pecan pieces

Directions:

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add the cream and both sugars and continue cooking until the sugars are dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture reaches 240-250 degrees F, stirring occasionally. (If the mixture begins to crystallize you can add 2 more tablespoons of the cream and continue cooking until it loosens up)
Add the pecans, remove from heat and give the mixture a final gentle stir. Use a wooden spoon, portion about 2 tablespoons of the praline mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing at least 1 inch between them. (If the mixture begins to crystallize and set up before you finish portioning all of the pralines, add an additional 2 tablespoons of cream to the saucepan and set the pan over medium heat until the mixture is creamy, then continue portioning the candies.) Cool for at least 30 minutes before transferring to an airtight container.


18 Responses to “New Orleans Pralines”

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    1
    simplynutritiouskate — March 5, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    Love pralines, had them in savannah and have never been able to find/make anything like it yum yours look delish though!

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    Lynda@Me and My Pink Mixer — March 5, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

    My daughter and I love to sample the pralines when we go to Savannah. We’re going to New Orleans later this month, so we’ll definitely have to try them there too! Yours look just as yummy!! We may just try to make them at home :)

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    torviewtoronto — March 5, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    delicious to snack on looks wonderful

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    Heavenly Housewife — March 5, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

    Your last few posts make me long to visit New Orleans. I’ve always wanted to go. Now I have just a few more reasons. These pralines look awesome.
    *kisses* HH

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    Kristen@PrettySweet — March 5, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

    When I was growing up, our elderly next door neighbor gave us homemade pralines every Christmas. They were so good that we always fought over the last one. =) You just can’t go wrong with pralines! Mmm!!

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    Kathy Morgan — March 5, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    My only warning – be careful with the hot mixture. Some dripped off my candy thermometer onto my hand – OUCH! Big ole blister is now forming… :(

    • Christina replied: — March 5th, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

      Oh no!!! I wish I could say that I haven’t done that at least once or twice! :) I hope you enjoy them after that!

    • Liza replied: — December 14th, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

      Ha! If you don’t get at least one blister during the praline “season” (weather in the south condusive to candy making), you have not been properly honing the skill!!! But, Damn, the feeling of getting the first batch right! :))

      • Christina replied: — December 15th, 2011 @ 8:18 am

        Hahaha! You are right! I always seem to burn myself when making candies…but the payoff it sooo worth it! :)

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    Mary — March 5, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

    Cristina, these are fabulous. They look beautiful and can’t help but be delicious. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

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    Amy — March 6, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    I wanted to make Pralines as one of my christmas “cookies” this year but was nervous to use a candy thermometer, since I always seem to screw things up when I do. Did you get it right the first time?

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    zerrin — March 6, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    These definitely look addictive!

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    Sara — March 8, 2011 @ 12:40 am

    I’ve never had pralines like this, but at the holidays we always have candied pecans that are absolutely delicious!

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    Sally — February 19, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    Found this site through Pinterest. I made these pralines today and they’re delicious!!! I made mine a little on the bigger side though and got 16. I just read in the printer-friendly version that it was supposed to make 36! Whoops! :)

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    allthingsgoodandwise — July 29, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    I will be making these for the holidays. Thanks

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