Creamy Pecan Pralines
My mother has made these pralines every Christmas of my life so far. It was her mother’s recipe before that, so it’s very old fashioned. The texture is not hard and chewy, but it’s not mushy or soft, either. It is creamy and sugary, if done correctly. You must beat them at the end for just the right texture, and there is a very fine line between runny and brick-hard. So, unless you have a helper, I suggest making these only one batch at a time.
2 cups sugar
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup white Karo
Line a large tray with parchment paper. Spray lightly with Pam.
Combine ingredients in large saucepan; cook and stir with a long wooden spoon over medium heat until a soft ball forms when a drop is dripped into cold water. The mixture will be caramel colored and will become more dense at this stage. Remove from heat and stir in:
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat until thickened slightly. Stir in:
2 cups pecan halves
Allow to cool a few minutes. Stir until color lightens and mixture is thick enough to hold its shape when dropped onto parchment paper. Use a medium scoop, or two iced-teaspoons and work very quickly. (If it hardens too soon, it can be melted again over medium heat.) Cool completely. Makes about 30. It’s nice to make a tin of pralines at Christmas, or wrap pralines individually in plastic wrap and tie with ribbons.
Note: if doubling the recipe, use at least a six quart pot.