1/16/15

Foodie Friday -- MAG's Silky Pecan Pralines

A few years ago I made a couple of different pecan praline recipes--YUCK!

The problem that I had with these candies was that every single recipe resulted in a grainy candy that felt like you were eating sand.  Not good.

This year, my hubby was given a gift box of pecan pralines from one of his vendors . . . It was incredible. Smooth, almost dough-like, the praline melted in my mouth. THIS was exactly what my version of pecan pralines would be.

Now all I had to do was recreate it.

This recipe is the result of my first experimental foray. It's good, in fact, it's really good, but it wasn't exactly the result that I was personally aiming for. I will say that this version is very, very sweet, with the texture similar to the texture of MAG's Decadent Fudge--super smooth and creamy.

Not the best picture, but you get the idea
 
Here's my first recipe version of Pecan Pralines and in the tips and tricks part of my recipe I'll let you know what I plan to do for my second version of this candy {or notes in red}.

MAG’s Silky Pecan Pralines


2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar
1 cup cream
2 tsp. honey {molasses}
½ tsp. kosher salt {1 tsp.?}
2 Tbls. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped {3 cups toasted, chopped pecans}

Combine sugars, cream, salt and honey in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugars are dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high, insert candy thermometer and cook until mixture reaches the soft ball stage at 236 degrees.

Pour mixture into buttered glass bowl. Dot with butter and splash vanilla on top. Place clean candy thermometer in mixture. Let cool to 110-118 degrees, about 45-60 minutes.

Once candy has cooled, using an electric mixer, beat the mixture until it lightens in color and creamy, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in chopped nuts.

Place a large sheet of parchment paper on counter. Using a cupcake batter/cookie scoop, quickly scoop onto paper. Press down slightly and allow to cool. Store in air tight container.

 Tips & Tricks:

 
·         The one thing that most people forget to bring to the table when making candy is PATIENCE. That is the number one ingredient.

·         And let me mention that ‘time’ laughs at you when making candy—it seems to take FOREVER to reach the appropriate temperature, but when you look away for two seconds, it has already zipped past the appropriate temp into another stage, or boiled over. No, this didn’t happen to me this time, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future.

·         If you do have a candy catastrophe, remember the hardened sugar mess dissolves in water. Don’t freak out and start scrubbing away, just place hot water on the mess and let it do its job, repeat as often as needed to remove the mess or clean the pan.

·         Invest in more than one good candy thermometer—I love my new digital one. Periodically check them for accuracy. Many thermometers are simply attached to a piece of cardboard inside a glass tube. It can shift.

·         How do you check the accuracy??  Boiling water. We all know that boiling water is 100 degrees centigrade, right? Simply fill a large pan full of water, place your thermometers along the edge, and bring to a rolling boil. Check your numbers. Make sure the thermometers are NOT touching the bottom of the pan as it will skew the results.

 Enjoy!

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