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Pecan Praline Goodness - You Simply Won't be Able to Resist!

Aug 6, 2008
Have you ever had a pecan praline? Tasted the rich sweet golden goodness burst with flavor on your tongue? They are truly a decadent treat and sinfully delicious. Pecan Pralines are considered to be a southern delicacy, but did you know they originated in Europe? The French were the first to make pralines using almonds and caramelized sugar instead of the pecans and brown sugar used in the South. The recipe was brought over with the French Settlers and over time became the rich sweet "New Orleans" style pecan praline enjoyed today by so many. I actually prefer our southern pecan variety since I am a true southern belle. Pecans go in nearly all desserts. Pecan Pralines have a very distinctive flavor and seem to melt in your mouth. There is no other candy quite like it. It's hard to describe the flavor and texture if you have never had one. It's just rich sweet buttery creamy pecan goodness. I urge you to try one if you never have. Pecan Pralines are a very rich sweet mixture of brown sugar, granulated sugar, pecans, cream, and butter. A traditional Pecan Praline recipe is: 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 1/4 cups pecan halves, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Generously grease a large slab or baking sheet. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, white sugar and milk. Bring to a boil. Stir in butter, pecans and vanilla. Heat, without stirring, to between 234 and 240 degrees F (112 to 116 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from the water and placed on a flat surface. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Beat until thickened, then pour immediately onto prepared surface and let rest until firm and completely cool before cutting. There are several different Pecan Praline recipe variations, but they all seem to have a combination of sugars, butter, cream, and pecans and are actually pretty easy to make. I think the hardest part is waiting for them to cool so you can start eating them.

Pecan pralines go well with nearly any occasion or holiday - from baby shower to wedding reception to holiday party to just whenever. We have customers call from all over the country and sometimes overseas to order them all throughout the year. I have one customer that calls from the UK every year at Christmas to order a box of pralines. He was sent some as a gift one year and fell in love with them. Now they are his "Christmas treat" for himself. Nearly all of our holiday gift baskets at Tanners Pecans include our homemade pecan pralines. Pecan pralines are one of our best sellers - with good reason. I have given our pecan pralines as gifts many times and I even have friends that request them from me.

Also in our Pecan Praline stable is our very own unique praline bit pecans. We take the caramelized goodness of the praline and turn it into our very own sugary sweet glaze and coat our jumbo pecans. Once you taste one you will not want any other candied pecan. I have tried all the different flavors of candied pecans we sell and the praline bits are my favorite. You just can't beat that rich sweet taste. I have my own variation of a pecan praline glaze that I make to drizzle over pancakes, french toast, even ice cream: 1-1/2 cups dark corn syrup, 1-1/2 cups light corn syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted. In a large bowl, combine corn syrups, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended. Stir in pecans. It gives your breakfast and nice extra kick of flavor.

One year I had a really great idea around Mardi Gras season - you can't live on the Gulf Coast (Mobile, AL) without celebrating Mardi Gras - I decided to hold a "theme" party. The food was Creole and Southern specialties - gumbo, red beans and rice, beignets, king cake, and of course, pecan pralines. I think the pecan pralines were the first to go. The party and the candy were a huge success, so much that I've continued to have my themed Mardi Gras parties. The themes change from year to year, but the pecan pralines continue to stay. They are very addictive and once you had one, you just want more.

For a variation on pralines, I've made pecan praline cookies. They are so very good and bring the taste of the pecan praline into a sweet cookie. The cookies are chewy and crisp and are so very delicious. One plus is that they can be frozen after they are iced. That is such a huge time saver if you are making them for the holidays or a party. You can bake them ahead of time so you won't be so rushed. The cookies are so easy to make and always a big hit with friends and family and I make them every year for my Mardi Gras party and always at holiday time. My favorite praline cookie recipe is: 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened, 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped. ICING: 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 cup confectioners' sugar.

Directions: In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Cover and chill until dough is easy to handle, about 1 hour. Form into 1-in. balls; place 2-in. apart on greased baking sheets. Flatten cookies slightly with fingers; sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon pecans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Meanwhile, for icing, combine the brown sugar and cream in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; blend in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Drizzle over cookies. Let cool before serving. And as said before... if you havn't tried a pecan praline, please do so. Try the cookies and the praline sauce - you will be so glad you did!
About the Author
Tanner's Pecan is owned and operated by Danny Fox and Michelle Parks. Based out of Montgomery, Alabama, Tanner's Pecan is proud to offer a variety of holiday gift baskets, peanut butter fudge, chocolate pecan pie, pecan pralines, roasted pecans, and chocolate fudge. Visit Tanner's Pecans today at www.tannerspecan.com for the best selection of Pecan Pralines.
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