This recipe is from the New Orleans School of Cooking. They offer classes of varying degrees of difficulty and will customize classes, making it a great place to taste the flavors of New Orleans. I met with the school several years ago, and they generously shared some of their most popular recipes including their pralines. Pralines, a New Orleans tradition, are always a great addition to your holiday dessert table or gift idea.
YIELD: 25-50 Pralines, Depending On Size
1½ cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter (3/4 stick)
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
1½ cup pecans (roasted optional)
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a “soft ball stage” (238-240°F), stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Stir until mixture thickens, becomes creamy and cloudy, and pecans stay suspend in the mixture.
Spoon out on buttered waxed paper, aluminum foil or parchment paper. When using waxed paper, be sure to buffer with newspaper underneath, as hot wax will transfer to whatever is beneath.
Let cool and serve.
NOTE: To roast pecans, bake them on a sheet pan at 275°F for 20 to 25 minutes, until slightly browned and fragrant.