Black Walnut & Pecan Pralines
I made these pralines with the sole intention of putting a smile on dad’s face. He loves nuts & in his opinion, they make everything better. Pecans & walnuts are probably his favorite, but I think it could be said, dad has never found a nut he didn’t like (well, rotten nuts don’t count – gag).
This quick candy is something I usually make around Christmas, but I couldn’t resist seeing that satisfied expression on dad’s face as he received his very own batch of nutty pralines.
For this recipe, you need:
- a pinch of kosher salt
- corn syrup
- powdered sugar
Place the sugar, salt, cream & nuts into a medium saucepan (over medium-high flame). It is handy to use a candy thermometer for this stage because you want to raise the temperature of the mixture to the “soft ball” stage, approximately 234°. It is important to stir continuously or else the nuts will burn – and that burned flavor will ruin the candy.
Once the candy has reached the proper temperature, remove it from the flame & add butter and vanilla. Allow the butter to melt and then add the powdered sugar.
Stir the candy vigorously to incorporate the powdered sugar. This is the point where experience really comes into play. You want to stop stirring about 30 seconds before you have to. It is hard to know when that perfect praline moment will arise but here are a few things to look for:
- the mixture will no longer be runny
- when you run your spoon across the bottom of the saucepan, a trail remains
- the mixture is still glossy
- the mixture is hot
Once all of those requirements are met, it’s time to scoop. This stage moves very quickly, so have a piece of parchment paper laid out & waiting. A 2-tablespoon scoop works perfectly for making uniform candy quickly.
This recipe makes about 3 dozen pralines. Feel free to substitute another nut in place of the pecans & walnuts. Adding coconut flakes & dried fruit would also be a yummy variation.
But for dad, nuts are the ticket. Lots of nuts.
A hint of salt, a load of sweet and packed with nutty goodness, this simple speedy recipe needs to come with a warning label. Once you realize how easy they are to make and just how very tasty a fresh, homemade praline actually is – you will be making batches right & left. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
- 6 oz walnuts
- 4 oz pecans
- 2 c sugar
- 3/4 c cream
- a pinch of kosher salt
- 2 T corn syrup
- 2 T butter
- 2 t vanilla
- 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
- Place a 20" long piece of parchment onto a hard surface. In a medium saucepan, combine first 6 ingredients. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of your saucepan. Stir to mix thoroughly. Turn the flame to medium-high and stir continuously in order to prevent the nuts from burning.
- Once the temperature reaches "soft ball: stage, remove from the flame and add butter & vanilla. Once the butter melts, add the powdered sugar and stir vigorously until the mixture thickens but remains very glossy and pourable.
- Using a 2T scoop, scoop candy out onto a piece of parchment paper and allow the candy to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Once completely cool, store in a ziplock baggie or airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- Makes 3 dozen.
- Substitute any type of nut your prefer.