Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 8 Mins
Makes 2 dozen

Be sure to use a heavy Dutch oven and a candy thermometer, and make pralines on a day when the weather is dry—humidity can make them grainy.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 15 minutes).

Step 2

Meanwhile, bring brown sugar and next 3 ingredients to a boil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 236° (soft ball stage). Remove sugar mixture from heat.

Step 3

Let sugar mixture stand until candy thermometer reaches 150° (20 to 25 minutes). Stir in vanilla and pecans using a wooden spoon; stir constantly 1 to 2 minutes or just until mixture begins to lose its gloss. Quickly drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto wax paper; let stand until firm (10 to 15 minutes).

Step 4


Step 5

Chocolate-Pecan Pralines: Prepare as directed through Step Add 2 (1-oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking squares to sugar mixture. (Do not stir.) Proceed as directed in Step

Step 6

Café au Lait Pecan Pralines: Add 2 Tbsp. instant coffee granules with brown sugar in Step

Step 7

Bourbon-Pecan Pralines: Add 1/4 cup bourbon with brown sugar in Step

Ratings & Reviews

Joshbgill's Review

December 16, 2013
I'm an amateur so I won't spoil the ratings, but i helplessly watched mine turn to crumbly sand in a matter of seconds after it cooled. Still, these are so good I decided to turn it into ice cream topping. Just know that when the recipe says "quickly" drop onto wax paper, they mean it!!!!

chelleboops's Review

April 28, 2013
very good

AmyNJames's Review

December 18, 2012
These are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I made them last year for a cookie exchange and have already been asked to make them again this year. Use a good candy thermometer, watch the temperatures carefully, and they should not be gooey. My suggestion: Ask a second person to help drop the pralines onto the waxed paper so it can be done very quickly before the pralines harden.

tonimishell's Review

December 14, 2012
Just made these for the first time, recipe and for making pralines. Theses were fast and easy! They taste awesome!

Gincee's Review

December 09, 2012
Fantastic!! I used a candy thermometer and followed the recipe to the letter. While it was cooling to 150..I was concerned that it was not going to solidify . It did and they were creamy and just perfect.

BiscuitsNHoney's Review

December 04, 2012
If your pralines turned out gooey, then you didn't cook them properly; they probably didn't make it to the required temperature. The fault doesn't lie with the recipe, but rather with the candy maker. It's a great recipe and by the way, I've found a whisper of cinnamon in pralines is lovely.

23mai23's Review

February 02, 2012
They are not the traditional New Orleans Pralines I am used to (don't know if that was the intent). They were more similar to caramel. Pralines have a denser less gooey texture. They were also very sweet. I recommend adding apx. 1/4 t salt. SCMG123 as you mentioned it took much longer than 20 minutes to cool. I stuck mine in the freezer to speed up the process.

SCMG123's Review

November 28, 2011
These were delicious. One took mine about 3-4 hours to completely cool before I could remove them from the wax paper (not 20 minutes). When I tried to remove before this they were a sticky/globby mess. Did anyone else have trouble with this?