Pralines are a very popular candy in the South, especially in New Orleans. Pralines (pronounced Pra-leens) looks like a round patty with pecans. The consistency is soft and creamy with a little grittiness from sugar crystals.
I've taken a recipe from "From Woodstoves to Microwaves... Cooking with Entergy." Entergy is the local power company and the cook book was sold through my employers with the proceeds going to local charities.
The original recipes is made on the stove top, but I didn't want to spend a lot of time making the candy so I'm trying the recipe in the microwave. Also, I made a half recipe.
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Sugar
1/2 C Cream
1 T Butter
1/2 C Pecan Halves
Note: The recipe called for breakfast cream. I'm not sure what that is so I used heavy cream.
Heat the sugar and cream for 3 minutes in a microwave. I have a 1,200 W microwave.
I can tell by the thick caramel consistency that I went a little too far in the microwave. However, I kept on.
Added the butter and stirred in the pecans. Microwaved for about 30 seconds.
Darn... the syrup is crystallizing.
I quickly scooped out the mixture to make rounds... However, the pralines crystallized instead of being soft and creamy.
The flavor is is like a buttery toffee. I need to work on the consistency.
Total time to make the candy was 5 minutes.
Notes for next time when using the microwave oven.
1. Add a little corn syrup. The syrup should reduce the odds of crystallization.
2. Heat only for 2 minutes... maybe 2 1/2 minutes.
The stove top recipe.
1 C Brown Sugar
1 C Sugar
1/2 C Breakfast Cream
2 T Butter
1 C Pecan halves
1. Boil the sugars and cream to 228F while stirring occasionally.
2. Add the butter and pecans. Cook to 236F.
3. Cool... Beat until slightly thickened but still glossy.
4. Drop onto wax paper or parchment paper... allow to cool completely.
BTW... Pecans is pronounced as P-Cons, not P-Cans. A coworker told us Yankees that "P-cons are for eating and P-cans are used by truckers."