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Friday, July 03, 2009

I Made Pralines for the Averett Family Reunion - They May Not Look So Pretty, But They are Delicious!

My pralines may not look as pretty, or have as uniform a shape, as the mass-produced ones, but they taste delicious! Better than the store-bought ones! These just melt in your mouth and taste so good.

I made pralines to take to the Averett family reunion in Greensboro, Alabama, as one of our covered dishes, and before the reunion dinner was even served, so many people tasted them and kept on eating them there not many left to put out. Made me feel real good about them, because there are some excellent cooks in the family.

Here are a couple of photos of the boiling candy mixture.

Below are a few photos showing the finished pralines cooling on cookie sheets. You have to act so fast when it is time to drop them onto the sheets, or else it all just hardens up on you.

Here is my recipe:

Delicious Homemade Pralines

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups broken pecans

Butter sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In saucepan combine sugars and half-and-half. Cook and stir over medium-high heat till mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring occasionally, till thermometer registers 234 degrees, soft-ball stage (16 to 18 minutes).

Remove pan from heat. Add butter; do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to 150 degrees (about 30 minutes).

Remove thermometer from saucepan. Stir in pecans. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon till mixture just begins to thicken but is still glossy (about 3 minutes). Working quickly, drop candy by spoonsfuls onto waxed paper. When firm, store in a tightly covered container. Makes about 36 pieces.

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