Cajun Pecan Praline Recipe
You can substitute favorite nuts such as hazelnuts, cashews, or peanuts in your home version, but pecans seem to be the most popular nut in pralines, and of course the most authentic. Toasting the pecans brings out their flavor; it can be easily done by spreading them on a baking sheet and baking them in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to smell good. The following recipe was adapted from one found in a favorite Cajun cookbook, The Little New Orleans Cookbook, by Gwen McKee, which I highly recommend for those who like to cook Cajun food. Her recipes are simple, straightforward, and delicious.
Cajun Pecan Pralines are perfect for Mardi Gras, or for snacks anytime. They look good on a buffet table or can be packed in boxes or fancy bags for gifts.
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole toasted pecans
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Spray the parchment with non-stick spray.
Mix the sugar, buttermilk, and baking soda in a large, very heavy, saucepan or Dutch oven. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Uncover the pot and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until well mixed
Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture is a light brown, has thickened slightly, and a small amount of the mixture dropped from a spoon into a cup of ice water forms a soft ball when molded with fingers (soft ball stage).
Stir in the butter, vanilla, and pecans and bring the mixture back up to the soft ball stage (I use a candy thermometer). During the cooking, it's a good idea to wash down the sides with a pastry brush and water to eliminate the possibility of any sugar crystals forming.
Cntinue stirring until the mixture is starting to thicken. Scoop tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. Let the candy sit at room temperature until set.Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or so.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155 Calories from Fat 77
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 50% Protein 2% Carb. 48%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 11 mg
Sodium 84 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 17 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin A 3% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 1%
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