Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring mixture constantly. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until a candy thermometer registers 236° (soft ball stage).
Remove mixture from heat, and add butter (do not stir). Let stand until candy thermometer reaches 150°. Stir in pecans and vanilla, using a wooden spoon; stir constantly until candy begins to thicken.
Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls, working rapidly, onto wax paper. Let stand until firm.
My first time making Pralines and they were really good. I think I beat a little too long in the end b/c I had a hard time getting them out quick enough. I have since tried a recipe that called for evaporated milk and I think this recipe is far superior.
Maybe it was just luck, but these are possibly the most perfect pralines I've ever had. They absolutely melt in your mouth. My only suggestion would be to use a pastry brush or rubber spatula to get as much of the sugar off the sides as possible, after it begins to boil. It also took much less time than suggested to reach temperature, so keep an eye on the mixture. Only other problem is the sugar high from eating them...
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