Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 8 Mins
Makes 2 dozen

They're a sweet treat any time of year. Southerners love pralines for their delicate texture, crunchy add-ins, and timeless appeal. Few confections are as satisfying as a well-made praline. When preparing yours, be sure to use a heavy Dutch oven and a candy thermometer. You should also be sure to make the pralines on a day when the weather is dry, because humidity can make them grainy.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 15 minutes).

Step 2

Meanwhile, bring brown sugar and next 3 ingredients to a boil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 236° (soft ball stage). Remove sugar mixture from heat.

Step 3

Let sugar mixture stand until candy thermometer reaches 150° (20 to 25 minutes). Stir in vanilla and pecans using a wooden spoon; stir constantly 1 to 2 minutes or just until mixture begins to lose its gloss. Quickly drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto wax paper; let stand until firm (10 to 15 minutes).

Step 4


Step 5

Chocolate-Pecan Pralines: Prepare as directed through Step Add 2 (1-oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking squares to sugar mixture. (Do not stir.) Proceed as directed in Step

Step 6

Café au Lait Pecan Pralines: Add 2 Tbsp. instant coffee granules with brown sugar in Step

Step 7

Bourbon-Pecan Pralines: Add 1/4 cup bourbon with brown sugar in Step