Whether you pronounce it “prah-leen” or “pray-leen,” buttermilk pecan pralines are a Southern staple. Believed to hail from New Orleans, buttermilk pralines differ from European pralines due to the fact that they’re made with cream and, hence, have a fudgy, decadent texture. They’re also made with pecans rather than almonds, as settlers to the Louisana area found that pecan trees flourished all around them.
Although pecan pralines may sound like a fancy dessert you would only find at a high-end candy shop, the folks at Southern Kitchen insist they’re actually quite easy to make at home. You’ll need a candy thermometer in order to make them but, otherwise, the process is simple and only requires a few ingredients, including buttermilk, granulated sugar, cane syrup, butter, baking soda and, of course, pecans!
If you don’t have buttermilk available, there are other options. Over at Basil and Bubbly, for example, Marianne makes her pecan pralines with evaporated milk.
No matter which type of milk you opt to use, you simply melt all of the ingredients (except the pecans) over the stove until it reaches the desired temperature. Then you stir in the pecans and beat, and beat, and beat that creamy, nutty mixture!
Yes, stirring the candy mixture into submission can be a bit of a workout! Trish from Mom On Timeout even recommends that you have a helper on hand in case your arm gives out and you need someone else to take a turn stirring for a while.
Once you’ve completed this step, you drop spoonfuls of the pecan pralines onto a prepared baking sheet and stick it in the oven.
Please note that there are small differences in every pecan praline recipe. For example, Emeril Lagasse shares a pecan praline recipe in which butter is added with the pecans at the end.
Want to enjoy the flavors of pecan pralines but scared you don’t have the skills necessary to make this candy by hand? Not to worry. Try this recipe for pecan praline bread from FiveHeartHome.
This simple quick-bread recipe is perfect with a warm cup of coffee for holiday breakfast. Yum!