A Christmas in our family just wouldn't be the same without some of Aunt Heart's favorite sweet treats. This year the color of our Emily dress reminded us so much of pecan pralines, one of her specialties, that we've decided to share the recipe for this famous Louisiana confection with you! Just a head's up... it's basically like eating a handful of sugar, so in all honesty it's not my favorite treat to eat... but making them brings back memories and that makes it worth the calories ;)
P.S. Adding another recipe that we (and our kids) like even more!
- 4 tbsp salted butter
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk or half & half
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans (raw pecans can be used, but toasting makes them more flavorful)
- Prepare your countertop or table surface with parchment paper or wax paper.
- Cut butter into 1 inch pieces (roughly) and freeze butter for at least 10 minutes.
- In a sauce pan, combine evaporated milk with white and brown sugars and cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches "soft ball"* stage- or about 232 to 236 F with a candy thermometer.
- Remove from burner and stir in the frozen butter. Add pecans and mix until no longer shiny. Careful here- it stiffens quickly.
- Spoon mounds onto paper. It should spread slightly.
- Let candy stand until firm. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
* Candy thermometer will work best, but Aunt Heart taught us to test for "soft ball" stage by dropping a small amount of the mixture into cold water. Once in water, it should form a small, soft ball. If its not ready, the sugar mixture will disperse into the water.
* Making candy can be a little tricky. If your recipe turns out less than perfect, it can still be saved! Crumble and serve over vanilla ice cream!
Named for the use of graham crackers, traditionally "cracked" into pieces... but also for its extremely addictive nature.
- 24 graham crackers
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Heat oven to 350 F
- Arrange graham crackers in a single layer large pan
- In a sauce pan, heat brown sugar and butter to boiling. Boil for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and pecan pieces.
- Pour mixture over graham crackers and spread evenly.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Sugar mix should be slightly bubbly.
- Allow crackers to cool and then cut into squares.