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Pecan Pralines

BPR Pecan Pralines Recipe – Perfect for gifting and equally perfect for munching on at home, these melt-in-your-mouth pecan pralines are absolutely delightful. Get ready to make a highly addictive treat that is the perfect combo of cozy flavors and pleasing textures.

Pecan Pralines on a  white plate, cool and ready to enjoy

When you take fresh, crunchy pecans and coat them in a smooth, buttery, and sweet candy shell, the result is a candy that seems to fly off the table every time. This family favorite is one I love making for the holidays but keep around all year, too. 

These little beauties are also ideal for sharing. Pop a batch in a pretty mason jar, tie it with a ribbon, add a gift tag, and voila! You’ve got a thoughtful, fun, and tasty gift everyone will love.  

Taking a bite out of a Pecan Praline for an insider's view

The One Tool You Need for Perfect Pecan Pralines

If you’re feeling hesitant about making candy, I get it. Candy recipes come with a lot of potential pitfalls, but you can avoid most (if not all) of them with one simple kitchen tool: A candy thermometer.

A handy candy thermometer takes the guesswork out of your pecan pralines. With it, you can make sure the coating gets to the right temperatures at the right times, preventing it from not setting or coming out grainy. It’s one kitchen tool that’s definitely worth the investment. 

Recipe Ingredients

Recipe ingredients
  • Pecans – Chopped and halved pecans give these candies the perfect amount of crunch.
  • Sugar – To sweeten them up, you’ll need both brown and granulated sugar. 
  • Butter – For that rich, buttery flavor that goes so well with the pecans, this recipe has plenty of butter. If using salted butter, omit the salt from the recipe.
  • Heavy Cream – Heavy cream adds a nice richness to the coating but also helps bind all the coating ingredients for that smooth and melty finish.
  • Vanilla Extract – This ingredient isn’t strictly necessary, but vanilla extract will enhance all of the lovely flavors in the recipe – especially the pecans.

How to Make Pecan Pralines

Toast the nuts and make the candy coating
  1. Toast Pecans – Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Then, place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake them for about 8-10 minutes or until they’re fragrant. 
  2. Cool – Take them out of the oven and let them cool. 
  3. Prep Baking Sheet – Clean the baking sheet once it’s cool if needed, and then line it with greased parchment paper or a silicon mat.
  4. Heat – Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cream, unsalted butter, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Heat the saucepan over medium and bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. 
  5. Simmer – Insert a candy thermometer into it once the mixture reaches a boil. Then, continue cooking until it reaches a temperature of 235°F (soft ball stage). It should foam and bubble slightly. Stir occasionally for even heating and to prevent burning. 
  6. Cool – Next, remove the saucepan from the heat. Let it sit for a few minutes to cool slightly and thicken, reaching about 200°F. 
  7. Assemble – Add the pecan halves, chopped pecans, and vanilla extract (if using) to the mixture in the saucepan. Stir them in with a wooden spoon to coat, and then do not stir again. Let the temperature decrease to 150°F, then stir again for about a minute. 
Stir and form the pralines on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet to cool
  1. Form Pralines – Drop spoonfuls of the pecan praline mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet using a spoon or cookie scoop. Allow the pralines to cool and set completely at room temperature, which will take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. 
  2. Serve – Once the pecan pralines have completely set, take them off the baking sheet and enjoy. Or store them at room temperature in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Insanely good Pecan Pralines stacked on a plate and ready to devour

Recipe Tips

  • Leave space on the baking sheet. Make sure the pralines aren’t touching when you form them on the baking sheet. They’ll stick together if they touch, and your pralines won’t be bite-sized. 
  • Use the thermometer. I’m big on simply “eyeing” my recipes, with very few exceptions. And this is one of them. The thermometer really does help in getting these just right. 
  • Failed batch? Never fear. If, despite your best efforts, the pralines don’t set properly, take those gooey lumps, roll them up, and coat them in chocolate. Now you’ve got some amazing pecan praline truffles!
  • If you plan on making them ahead, try adding a tablespoon of light corn syrup to keep them from crystallizing.

FAQs

What if I don’t have a candy thermometer?

You can perform a cold water test instead. Drop a small amount of the sugar mixture into a cup of ice-cold water. You’ve reached the right stage if it becomes a soft ball when you roll it between your fingers.

Can I add spices to my pecan pralines?

Yes, you can customize your pecan pralines with spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. I also love adding a few drops of almond extract.

Can I use other nuts instead of pecans?

Yes, you can substitute other nuts like almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, or walnuts.

Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions

Southern pecan pralines are great for making ahead. They’ll keep for up to a week.

Simply store them in an airtight container separated with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking. You can keep them at room temperature for up to a week or in a freezer for up to 3 months. Do not refrigerate, as the moisture can cause them to become sticky.

More Decadent Desserts to Try

Pecan Pralines on a white plate, cool and ready to enjoy
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5 from 1 vote

Pecan Pralines

Perfect for gifting and equally perfect for munching on at home, these melt-in-your-mouth pecan pralines are absolutely delightful. Get ready to make a highly addictive treat that is the perfect combo of cozy flavors and pleasing textures.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 382kcal
Author Imma

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Place the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. Allow them to cool.
  • Line your baking sheet for the pecan pralines with greased parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cream, unsalted butter, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan.
  • Heat the saucepan over medium and bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring constantly.
  • Once it reaches a boil, insert a candy thermometer. Boil until the mixture reaches 235°F/115℃ (soft ball stage). It will foam and bubble slightly. Stir occasionally for even heating and to avoid burning.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat. Let it sit for a few minutes to cool slightly and thicken, reaching about 200°F (95℃).
  • Add the pecan halves, chopped pecans, and vanilla extract (if using) to the saucepan. Stir them in with a wooden spoon to coat, and then do not stir again. Let the temperature come down to 150°F (65℃), then stir again for about a minute.
  • Drop spoonfuls of the pecan praline mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet with a spoon or cookie scoop. Allow the pralines to cool and set completely at room temperature, which takes 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Once the pecan pralines have completely set, remove them from the baking sheet. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

  • Leave space on the baking sheet. Make sure the pralines aren’t touching when you form them on the baking sheet. They’ll stick together if they touch, and your pralines won’t be bite-sized. 
  • A candy thermometer really does help in getting these just right.
  • If you plan on making them ahead, try adding a tablespoon of light corn syrup to keep them from crystallizing.
  • Use high-quality ingredients to ensure the best flavor and texture.
  • Be patient. Making perfect pecan pralines takes time and practice, so don’t be discouraged if your first batch isn’t perfect.
  • Please remember that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1praline | Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating