Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pralines- Not the French Kind

These treats are so god damn good. There I said it. But have you ever had one? I hadn't until Kris and I went to New Orleans for our anniversary back in February. We took a cooking class that I literally had to drag Kris to.. "But it's all old people!" He was glad in the end because we had these and I now know how to make em. Now you can too. 

For Pete's (and your teeth's) sake have this with unsweetened coffee

The teacher in our class said that these last about a day (mostly because she can't keep her sons away from them). But I've found that they remain tasty for at least 3 days- I haven't managed to keep any in my house beyond that. Piled high in some cellophane bags, gussied up with a bow, these would make an amazing hostess gift.

And if you need to fancify them further, I hear you can dip them in chocolate. The heck you say?

Adapted from The New Orleans School of Cooking
Makes 1-50 depending on size
Pronounced praw-leens. When spooning out the mixture, work quickly or the pralines will turn extra cloudy and the sugar will harden into clumps. Still tasty though!

1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all the ingredients in a deep saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat over medium-high heat. While STIRRING CONSTANTLY bring the mixture to a softball stage (238 - 240 degrees). Remove from heat.

Continue stirring until the mixture thickens slightly and turns cloudy- pecans should stay suspended. Spoon the pralines out one by one onto a silpat or some parchment paper. They can be any size but I aim for about 1 inches in diameter. Leave the pralines to cool and harden for about 1 hour. Peel off of silpat and store in an airtight container. Keeps for at least 3 days.

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