Southern Pecan Pralines
Pralines are the South's iconic candy. These irresistible nuggets of caramel and pecans aren't difficult to make, and the requirements are few: plenty of stirring, patience, and careful attention. A candy thermometer is a surefire key to success.They originated in France, but these sweet, nutty confections found a home in the South centuries ago. By all accounts, the praline was created for a French diplomat named César duc de Choiseul, Comte du Plessis-Praslin, though there's some debate about who, exactly, created it for him. Our praline recipe is simple, but working with sugar can be a little tricky. Here are some handy tips from pastry chef and Southern Living Foods contributor Micah A. Leal: (1) Use a candy thermometer to guarantee that you cook the candy mixture to the right temperature. (2) Prep everything before you start cooking so you aren't scrambling in mid-stir. (3) Protect yourself from burns by using a big pot since the hot candy mixture can splash up. (Is it PRAH-leen or PRAY-leen? Depends on whether you're from Louisiana or Texas. Or the Gulf Coast. Or Georgia. The bigger question is, are they made with puh-CAHNS or PEE-cans?).