PPQ: Texas Pralines

by Shawnda on May 20, 2012

in Candy,Project Pastry Queen

Texas Pralines

I have working internet again. At home. To go along with the other two things I can’t live without: indoor plumbing and Diet Pepsi electricity.

Not that I’d think that I could ever get tired of using Chick-fil-A’s free wifi (hello, Spicy Chicken Biscuits!) but holy cow, was I tired of packing up the entire house just to go use Chick-fil-A’s free wifi. I have no idea how the pioneers did it.

I picked this week’s Project Pastry Queen challenge, Texas Pralines. It’s a food blogger’s dream: photographing blobs of brown.

Which only runs second to a food blog reader’s dream – looking at pictures of blobs of brown. So, you know… sorry. And they might have been prettier blobs of brown if I hadn’t gotten distracted.

But I got distracted. So they’re ugly, delicious little blobs of brown.

Pralines. They’re really just another way for Southerners to work pecans in to dessert, one that doesn’t require a fork. They’re sweet candies studded with chunks of roasted pecans. They’re pretty simple and quick, as far as candy-making is concerned. I used honey in place of the corn syrup for another layer of flavor and added the scrapings of a vanilla bean.

And then I beat the pralines for a minute too long – they should have flowed from the spoon onto the baking sheet instead of just… falling off the spoon. So if you’re going to use a mixer for the final step, don’t walk away to unpause the last 3 minutes of the season finale of Hart of Dixie! While it is your (spoiler alert) typical Zoe train wreck, it can wait for you to finish the pralines.

You can check out how the other PPQ members tackled candy-making this week here. Next week, we’re taking on the Mahogany Cake, a decadent chocolate + coffee combo. And I need to find 5 someones to come help me eat it.

Texas Pralines

Texas pecans make this southern favorite shine.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups whole pecans (I used halves)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • Scrapings of 1-2 vanilla beans (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 7-9 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Over medium heat, stir together the buttermilk, baking soda, sugar, honey, and butter.
  5. Clip a candy thermometer onto the pot and cook until you reach softball stage (~234-240F).
  6. Turn off the heat and remove the candy thermometer. (At this point, I transferred it to my mixer bowl).
  7. Beat in the pecans and vanilla.
  8. Beat by hand with a wooden spoon for ~10 minutes (or by mixer for 3-4 minutes), until the candy has lost its sheen and is thick enough to just flow off of the spoon.
  9. Drop heaping tablespoons onto a sheet of wax paper.
  10. Let the candies cool completely and then wrap individually in plastic wrap.
  11. Will keep at room temp for 5 days.

Notes

Yields: ~22 pieces

Slightly adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina May 20, 2012 at 5:30 am

So delicious looking! Yum!

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2 branny May 20, 2012 at 6:20 am

Actually, you did a great job on the photos :)

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3 marla May 20, 2012 at 6:55 am

I think these pralines would be everyone’s dream! Lovely :)

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4 vanillasugarblog May 20, 2012 at 7:32 am

LOL!
girl when i lose my internet, it is NOT a pretty sight.

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5 Jen M O May 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

I liked your pick very much. They taste so delicious with and without chocolate. I made these last night and kept thinking how I was going to take a photo of them.

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6 Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf May 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

I have to say your ugly blobs of brown look oh so tasty, though!

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7 Kristy May 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

Me! Me, me, me! I am all about chocolate and coffee combos.

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8 Jennifer May 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Such an easy, delicious dessert! As long as they still tasted good, it’s okay to be sidetracked by train wrecks!

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9 Joanne May 20, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I had to laugh at all your blogs of brown comment. Photographing them is ALMOST as fun as photographing yellow soups and curries! yay!

LOL but given that I know they’re pralines…I’m pretty sure they must be delicious. It comes with praline territory, after all.

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10 Suzanne Perazzini May 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm

After all your beautiful strawberry baking photos, this one is a little brown but I can still imagine eating them just the way they are. After all, caramel is brown and so is chocolate!

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11 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel May 21, 2012 at 6:46 am

A world without internet is scary. A world without high speed internet is head bashing annoying. And oooh you watch Hart of Dixie too?! Cute show huh?

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12 foodiebride May 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Love it! I was so happy to see it renewed for a 2nd season.

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13 Becky May 21, 2012 at 9:37 am

Haha, I’m watching an episode of Hart of Dixie while reading this! :)
Those ‘brown blobs’ look super delicious by the way!

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14 Nikki May 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

Ahhh! I’m so far behind on Hart of Dixie. We’re leaving for almost a month long trip tomorrow, and my first plan is to download the episodes to my iPhone so I can watch them on the plane!

Maybe my second plan should be to whip up these ugly blobs of brown to eat on the flight! ;)

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15 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm

What a great recipe for Texas pecans! My neighbors have a pecan tree and they always complain about having to round up all the fallen pecans, but I just might have to grab a bucket and help them out! ;) Thanks for sharing, Shawnda. Also, I’m having a ChicWrap giveaway today that you should enter!

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16 Emily @ She Makes and Bakes May 22, 2012 at 7:58 am

Yours definitely look better than mine…even after reading your tip I got distracted. Mine were not pretty, but they make a good salad topper.

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17 Ann P. May 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I think your pralines look like absolutely delicious and beautiful blobs of brown! The recipe sounds amazing, too!

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