Butter bottom of a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook brown sugar and next 3 ingredients in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugars dissolve; stir in pecans. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 238° (soft ball stage). Remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla; let stand 3 minutes. Beat with a wooden spoon 3 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Working rapidly, drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper. Let stand until firm.
These turned out great for me. I've never made pralines before, but these taste as good or better than pralines I have purchased. I used whole pecans because that's the way I have seen pralines before. I even got the recipe to work at an altitude over 6'000 feet by removing from the heat at 226 rather than 238.
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