Home Desserts Southern Pecan Pralines

Southern Pecan Pralines

Craving something sweet and crunchy? This Southern pecan pralines recipe will be your new dessert BFF. 

Pralines are a Southern candy treat made with simple ingredients.

With just butter, sugar, vanilla, milk, and nuts, you’ll have irresistible homemade pralines. 

Southern Pecan Pralines (a Sweet and Crunchy treat on parchment paper)
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Whatever the occasion, pralines are sure to be loved by all.

They make great gifts, wonderful snacks, and a satisfying dessert.

Plus, you can use them for other recipes – like for decoration on this stunning Southern caramel cake!

Pralines take just about 30 minutes to make, and they’ll be gone even quicker. This buttery, crunchy, and nutty praline recipe is a real keeper!

Pralines Recipe 

So what are pralines, you may ask? Well, let me tell you.

Pralines are a crunchy, buttery caramel treat loaded with pecans. 

You can eat them as a snack or dessert. You can also crush them up and add them to many different baked goods.

Use them as an ice cream topping, fold them into fudge, or coat them in chocolate. 

My favorite dessert is pralines on top of vanilla ice cream. It’s absolutely unmatched!

Pralines are usually made with a few simple ingredients like butter, sugar, cream, and nuts. You can even experiment with different types of nuts. 

No matter how you enjoy them, you have to try them at least once. They’ll soon become a staple in your house and at parties. 

Praline Ingredients - Toasted Pecans, Sugar, Milk and Butter

Ingredients 

Here’s what you’ll need to make the best pecan pralines. They’ll taste like they came straight from grandma’s kitchen:

  • Pecans – Toast them if you like to draw out the oils and make them even more delicious.
  • Granulated Sugar and Brown Sugar – This combination brings plenty of sweetness and rich molasses for a chewy finish. It’s essential to use both!
  • Heavy Cream – This adds a little bit of creamy richness to the caramelized sugar.
  • Butter – It gives the pralines a lovely flavor that makes them irresistible. It also keeps them from getting too firm.
  • Vanilla Extract and Salt- To balance the flavors.
  • Baking Soda – It’s technically optional, but helps keep the pralines tender and prevents graininess
Homemade Sweet Pralines with Toasted Pecans

How to Make Pralines 

Making pralines involves boiling sugar until it bubbles.

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It’s not difficult, but you need to be very careful. Also, it’s a good idea to use a candy thermometer so it doesn’t burn.

Here are the steps:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Or, better yet, a silicone mat!

2. Make the caramel. Boil the sugars, cream, butter, and salt until it reaches 236 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir constantly for 6-8 minutes.

3. Add the baking soda and vanilla. It will foam up, which is normal. Just be careful!

4. Mix in the pecans until smooth and well-coated.

5. Portion and enjoy. Working quickly, spoon it onto the tray in portions. Leave to set, then devour!

Tips for the Best Pralines

Here are some of my favorite praline-making tips:

  • Use the right equipment. Using a candy thermometer is the best way to know if your caramel is ready. If not, they might end up being too soft or chewy, or too hard. 
  • Keep stirring! The caramel needs to move, so make sure you have a solid wooden spoon.
  • Be patient. It may take a while for the mixture to get to the right temperature. But don’t worry, it will!
  • Toast the pecans. It will boost the flavor! Just warm them in a dry skillet until fragrant.
  • Work fast! The mix will set up pretty fast, so portion it out as soon as possible.
  • Check the weather. Believe it or not, humidity can affect the texture, so avoid making pralines on a rainy day.

Variations

Want to mix things up a little? Try one of these variations:

  • Get nutty! Experiment with different types of nuts. Try hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, or pistachios. You can even play around with combinations of nuts. 
  • Add a boozy twist! For an adults-only version, add a shot of bourbon or rum to the mixture. 
  • Toss them around. Toss the firm pralines in different ingredients to coat them. Try cinnamon, cocoa powder, or chili powder. 
  • Go tropical! Sprinkle some coconut on top of the pralines before they firm up completely. It will add a light tropical flavor that’s great during the summer months. 
  • It’s not an ex(tr)act science. Play around with different extracts instead of vanilla. I love using almond or maple. 

How to Store Pralines

I doubt these incredible treats will last much longer than an hour.

However, if they do, you’ll need to know how to store them properly.

To Store: Transfer cold pralines to an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

To Freeze: Freeze leftovers in a single layer on a baking sheet until hard. Transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag with parchment paper between layers. Squeeze out as much air as possible, then freeze for 2-3 months.

To Thaw: Thaw in the fridge overnight. Enjoy chilled.

Southern Pecan Pralines

Course: SnackCuisine: American
Servings

15

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

165

kcal

This Southern pralines recipe is bound to be a huge hit! Using just 5 simple ingredients, you’ll have a sweet, tasty treat everyone will devour.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, optional

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups pecan halves

Instructions

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cream, butter and salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Secure a candy thermometer to the side. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture reaches 236 degrees Fahrenheit (soft ball stage), about 6-8 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda (if using) and vanilla until blended. The mixture will foam up if baking soda is used; that’s normal.
  • Stir in the pecans well, until evenly coated, then use a tablespoon to drop portions onto the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each.
  • Let the pralines cool and set completely at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!
Pralines recipe

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author avatar
beautyeval - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm beautyeval. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Southern Pecan Pralines”

  1. The only question I have is about the pecans. I have always added pecans to a recipe after cooking, but I see that you mix all ingredients together and cook. Does this make a difference? Thanks for the answer and the recipe.

    Reply
    • Hi Tom!
      You can add the pecans first, but I’ve gone ahead and clarified the method in the recipe.
      After making this a couple of times, it’s actually easier to add them last.
      Hope you enjoy!

      Reply

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