My go-to recipe for pecan pralines used to be Paula’s Pecan Pralines from The Lady and Son’s Just Desserts Cookbook. The pralines are creamy rather than crumbly and have a lot of flavor from the brown sugar and dark corn syrup.
I still like Paula’s original recipe (which you can find on Food Network), but a few years ago I started making a new recipe that calls for heavy cream, and I think I like the new recipe a little better. I’m still on the fence, but here’s the recipe. It calls for 3 cups of brown sugar and a cup of cream, and like most praline recipes it takes practice.
Southern style pralines made with heavy cream.
- 3 cups light brown sugar 600 grams
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups pecan halves toasted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract use a good double strength vanilla
- In a 3 to 3 1/2 quart saucepan, combine the sugar, cream, corn syrup and salt.
- Set pan over medium heat and bring mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture reaches 236 degrees F..
- Remove from heat at 236 degrees and butter, but do not stir.
- Let mixture cool to about 170 degrees F. then stir in pecans and vanilla.
- Beat with a spoon by hand until candy is slightly thick and begins to lose its gloss.
- Quickly drop heaping tablespoons onto a tray lined with parchment paper and allow candy to set.
To toast the pecans, lay them on a rimmed skillet and bake at 350 to 375 degrees F. for about 10 minutes. If using small pecan halves, 350 is best. If using large ones (like from a pecan store), 375. After the first 7 minutes, stir the pecans around and check to see if they are releasing their oils. Smaller pecans may be toasted in just 7 minutes, while larger pecan halves may take up to 12. If desired, toss the toasted pecans in a little salted butter and let cool.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Lisa, 236 is when you remove it from the heat. Sorry if the extra wordiness made it unclear. I’ll see if I can rephrase that.
How long do you cook it when it reaches the temperature of 236
Cathy, there are some other recipes out there that use white. You might want to check the Karo corn syrup website. I usually just use white corn syrup for these. And yes, I think the weather does affect the outcome.
Can you use white syrup not the dark.
I used a receive today and they were sugary. Does the weather change the way they turn out?
I have been using this recipe for about five years…..it works great every time. I use half and half for the milk. I sell these pralines at a local festival in the fall.
Just found this book at my local Walmart. They now have Paula’s books! So if you don’t have it or want another copy go to your local Walmart! 🙂
I make pecan pralines all the time. Sometimes they turn white from what I think its the sugar crystalizing. What is causing it to do this and how can I prevent it from happening?
i made them and they did not set up what can i do with the mixture i want to try to use what i have to make them or can i make some kind of candy
Love these but the recipe never turns out the same way twice
Wow, thanks for the vote of confidence. I think both ways are correct, but since I’m a slack-jawed Texan I say Pray-leen. What I will never say is Pee-Kan. That it just wrong. They’re Peh Kawns.
In an argument with co-workers as to the proper pronunciation for praline. I go with the Southern “praw”-line version. My co-horts tend to want to “pray” to it. Am deferring to you as referee.
The pralines look delicious! I would really like to taste them, so I will ask my wife to make them! Sincerely hope that they taste the same way they look! If they do, looks like I am going to gain a few pounds extra soon.
I’m going to have to make these. We tried pralines for the first time when we were in Savannah last summer. They were really good but expensive when you are trying to feed five. I promised I’d make some when we got home and I promptly forgot. We saw the outside of Paula’s restaurant but didn’t eat there as even though I live in North Carolina I’m not a big fan of Southern food so I didn’t think we’d get our money’s worth. If it had just been my husband and me I might have gone but I didn’t want to pay for five of us to eat there. I need to win the lottery so that I can enjoy myself without worrying about money.
I also had issues with getting very dark, chewy caramel instead of sugary crystallized pralines. I’ve been reading some sites saying that means I heated it past the candy stages, but you say it means the temp was too low?
Can you give me more info on working with sugar? Thanks, love your blog and all of your scrumptious cookies recipe. The photos really make the recipes look mouth-wateringly good!
I’m not actually Paula Deen, but I’ll be your buddy too ;).
It sounds like your sugar mixture just didn’t get quite hot enough during the boil. It could have had to do with the weather, so you might want to try again. This time, cook your sugar mixture until it’s closer to 240 degrees and make sure you let it cool for 10 minutes before beating. Good luck!
Paula, I love your shows and recipes,but for some reason the pecan pralines never lost their gloss. I melted them back down and made sure the candy thermometer was the soft ball and I beat the dickens out of them. They are more like very chewy caramels, never did lose the gloss–help. I have a brand new food network candy thermometer. I never give up what should I do?
Thanks, you are my buddy–Doris
I store mine in a tin or an airtight glass jar.
How would you best store the pralines?
oops…the shrimp gumbo recipe won’t be in the desserts book…lol! It’s in Paula’s The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook.
I love this book. I use it for all my holiday candy making. The recipe for divinity is divine! I get so many complements from it. I tried the praline recipe this year and everyone loved it.
You can also find her books at Sam’s and some bigger Wal-Mart’s.
OH–if you like cajun food, try the shrimp gumbo casserole recipe…yummm!!
Therese, the gooey bar recipe is in her book. I’m sure I’ll given them a try at some point. She lists quite a few variations as well.
Tori, good luck making these! I don’t remember that email, but I have a bad memory.
Anj, I almost bought her biography in the airport. I know I’d enjoy it.
I am fortunate enough to have a friend who has gifted me with all of Paula’s books. Have you read her biography? It reads just like she talks. The humidity here on the coast does not usually go well with making pralines unfortunately. I have been lucky though upon occasion to make some good ones. Her recipe looks like a good one.
Do you remember months ago when I emailed you to ask for help? This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!
Jen, there are quite a few cake recipes. Most of them call for self-rising flour, which is interesting. I’ll need to pull my self-rising flour out of the deep freeze.
This is the onlly Paula Deen book I don’t have. I must remedy this.