I’ve always liked pralines, but have never tried making them at home. Several years ago, in the summer of 2003, my parents took my sister and I to New Orleans, where they used to live. I’m glad I got to see the city pre-Katrina, and I really enjoyed the food there. For a seafood lover, New Orleans is incredible, and the sweets are pretty incredible too. One day my mom and I saw a cooking demonstrating where we saw them making pralines. I was immediately hooked and wanted to try making them on my own. Of course, a couple months later, I started college and pretty much forgot about it. I recently flipped through some of my cookbooks and found this recipe for butterscotch pralines. I also had a Christmas party to go to the next day and thought pralines would be the perfect thing to take along.
Pralines are so simple to make, especially with the use of a candy thermometer. I was surprised at how quickly they set up. After pouring the mixture on the baking sheets, it took about 5 minutes for the pralines to be ready. I sneaked a few bites that night and they were a big hit at the Christmas party. Many people had never eaten homemade pralines before! The butterscotch was a tasty twist on a classic treat and I will be sure to make these again!
Source: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¾ cup water
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup butterscotch morsels
1 ¼ cups pecan pieces
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper of aluminum foil.
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil, without further stirring, until the mixture reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
Immediately transfer the hot mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in the butterscotch morsels on medium speed until the morsels are melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in the pecans.
Immediately drop by tablespoonfuls (a cookie scoop works really well) onto parchment paper or aluminum foil. (If the mixture in the bowl gets too firm, you can put it back in the saucepan and melt it carefully while stirring over low heat).
Let the pralines stand at room temperature to set, 5 to 10 minutes.
The pralines keep in an airtight container at room temperature, layered between sheets of wax paper, for up to 2 weeks.
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