Pecan Praline (2024)

Home | Recipe Index | Homemade Candy Recipes | Pecan Praline

Pecan Praline (1)

posted by Chef Lindsey

on Dec 09, 2022, Updated Nov 30, 2023

4.96

10 Comments

Jump to RecipeRate Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

An easy to follow Pecan Praline Recipe for praline candies that are flavorful and thick! I give you all my professional tips for shiny, not crystalized pralines that you can make in under 30 minutes!

Pecan Praline (2)

This traditional recipe for Southern pecan pralines makes beautiful pecan pralines that are thick, full of toasted pecans, and have a unique caramelized brown sugar flavor. . I give you all my professional pastry chef tips for making shiny pralines that don’t crystalize. Pralines have a soft, slightly crumbly texture that melts in your mouth almost like old fashioned fudge.

This recipe, like homemade toffee, is wonderful all year round, but they are particularly fun to make and gift around the Holidays. They make perfect homemade gifts for coworkers, friends and teachers! Package in a decorative tin or in a simple clear gift bag tied with a ribbon.

Table of Contents

  • Why You Will Love this Pecan Praline Recipe
  • Professional Tips for Making Pralines
  • What are pralines?
  • Ingredients
  • Possible Substitutions
  • How to Make
  • Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Pecan Pralines Recipe
  • Before You Go

Why You Will Love this Pecan Praline Recipe

  • Rich, caramelized flavor. These pralines taste a bit like pecan pie in candy form! They have a unique caramelized brown sugar flavor that is balanced by the pecans.
  • Perfect texture. This recipe will make melt-in-your-mouth candies with the characteristic crumbly texture. I also toast the pecans for the perfect contrasting crunch.
  • Made in under 30 minutes. This recipe can be made in under 30 minutes. I like to make sure all my ingredients are ready before I begin, so that I can easily move from step to step.
  • Video & step-by-step tutorial by a pastry chef. Chef Lindsey gives you all her secrets for perfect glossy pralines in both a tutorial and a video!
Pecan Praline (3)

Pecan Praline (4)

Professional Tips for Making Pralines

  • Patience is critical here. Letting the sugar dissolve before boiling, allowing the candy to reach 235°F, letting it cool and beating it long enough will all ensure you get a perfect praline that isn’t crystalized.
  • Don’t skip the 10 minute cooling. This cooling step allows the candy temperature to lower without agitating the sugar molecules. This keeps you from stirring so much the candy crystalizes.
  • If the mixture seizes during mixing or gets too thick to portion. You can add a little hot water to thin it back out. The texture of these will be more granulated than those that didn’t seize.
  • Pre-toast the pecans. Toasting the pecans adds a delightful crunch and enhances the pecan flavor.

What are pralines?

Pralines are a stove-top candy made by cooking brown sugar, butter, milk and flavorings together until it reaches the softball stage (235°F). The mixture is then beaten with a spoon while it cools until smooth and glossy. This technique, similar to old fashioned fudge, creates a chewy texture. They have the flavors of vanilla, brown sugar and pecan and taste a bit like pecan pie!

Pecan Praline (5)

Ingredients

  • Light Brown Sugar: Cooking the light brown sugar is what gives these pecan pralines their flavor and texture.
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter for baking, because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding. In candy making, the butter adds a smooth, richness to caramels, pralines, toffee and brittles.
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is less salty than table salt and a teaspoon weighs less than other finer ground varieties. It will keep your pralines from tasting dull or flat.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla Extract adds a beautiful flavor itself but it also boosts the flavor of the other ingredients in this recipe.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar is the key to candies like caramel. I like to use extra-fine granulated sugar to ensure an even melting or dissolving. They are also less likely to crystallize. But any granulated sugar will do! So don’t stress.
  • Dark Corn Syrup: The dark corn syrup is here to stabilize the wet sugar mixture. You can substitute the dark corn syrup with glucose, light corn syrup, or omit it completely. If you omit the corn syrup, you run a greater risk of the pralines crystalizing.
  • Milk: I use whole milk for candy making, because the extra fat helps keep the sugar from crystalizing. It also adds a richness to the final flavor and texture.
  • Pecans: It’s no secret that I love to use Southern pecans in baking (here’s lookin’ at you, the pecan pie in my shop!). Nothing beats fresh, plump pecans especially when it is the primary flavor of the pralines. But any pecan halves will do. If you keep them for longer than a month or your kitchen is consistently warm, store them in the freezer to preserve freshness.

Possible Substitutions

  • Brown Sugar: This pecan praline recipe calls for light brown sugar but you can use dark brown sugar if that is what you have on hand or if you just want a deeper molasses flavor.
  • Corn Syrup: The dark corn syrup is here to stabilize the wet sugar mixture and for a little more complex flavor than light corn syrup can provide. You can substitute the dark corn syrup with glucose, light corn syrup, or omit it completely. If you omit the corn syrup, you run a greater risk of the pralines crystalizing.
  • Nuts: Experiment with different nuts like walnuts or a mixture of several.
  • Milk: I would not suggest substituting non-dairy milk, evaporated milk, or low fat milk in this recipe. The whole milk helps create that ideal fudge-like texture with both the fat and the flavor.

How to Make

Use these instructions to make the perfect pecan pralines every time! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below!

Prepare your pans:

Step 1: Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper. You can also use aluminum foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Butter the sides of a 3-quart sauce pot.

A heavy-bottomed pot will produce the best pralines.

Prepare your pralines:

Step 2: In the pot, combine sugars, salt, corn syrup and milk. Stir in order to wet the sugars. I like to stir carefully to keep as little sugar from getting on the sides of the pot as possible.

Step 3: Cook over medium heat and stir frequently until sugar dissolves.

Ideally you want the sugar to dissolve before the mixture comes to a boil. This will help ensure the sugar doesn’t crystalize.

Step 4: Bring mixture to a boil. Affix a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and cook until the softball stage is reached (235°F), stirring occasionally.

Step 5: Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.

Step 6: Add vanilla extract and beat by hand with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Add the pecans and continue beating by hand with a wooden spoon until the mixture loses its gloss.

Pecan Praline (9)
Pecan Praline (10)
Pecan Praline (11)

Portion & enjoy:

Step 8: Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper lined baking sheets. Work quickly because the mixture stiffens as it cools. Do not scrape the sides of the pot. Like fudge, that outermost layer of candy will be crystalized.

Pralines dropped while they are too warm will spread but those dropped when they are cooler will be more crystallized. The ideal moment is right after the candy mixture loses its gloss but before it starts to harden. I can tell you from experience it is difficult to get all 16 pralines from the pot onto the baking sheet in that window! I stopped to film the perfect consistency, but still, it’s a short window.

Step 9: Allow pralines to set and enjoy!

Pecan Praline (12)

Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip

A candy thermometer is mission-critical here! I prefer one that clips on the side of the pot to for constant temperature regulation. Test your thermometer calibration before you begin by placing it in a pot of boiling water. The temperature should read 212°F.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store Pecan Pralines?

Store pecan pralines at room temperature for up to a month in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper. Even this will be no match for a humid day, so try to make this recipe during the drier months and don’t store these candies by the stove or oven.

Why won’t my pralines get hard?

Like other sugar-based candies, the hardness is determined by the combination of the ingredients and the temperature to which the sugar syrup is cooked. Pecan pralines need to reach 235°F or the soft-ball stage. Removing the pot from the heat at the lower part of the temperature rage will ensure the syrup doesn’t rise too high with carry-over cooking. If you used a candy thermometer, be sure to check the temperature by placing it in boiling water. It should read 212°F.

How to stop pecan pralines from crystallizing?

A little crystallization in pralines is inevitable but adding a bit of corn syrup can help keep crystals from forming. In this recipe I also butter the sides of the pot and only stir before the sugar comes to a boil. After the candy reaches soft-ball stage, it is left to cool for 10 minutes without agitation. This helps prevent the sugar crystal structure from forming.

Can I make pecan pralines without a candy thermometer?

Yes, you can make pecan pralines without a candy thermometer, however, you will still need to test the sugar syrup throughout the cooking by using the ice bath method. Fill a bowl with ice water and every so often drop a small teaspoon of the sugar syrup into the ice water. If it dissolves immediately, it isn’t done. It has reached the soft-ball stage when the sugar forms a small, soft pliable ball in the ice water. You should be able to squish it with your fingers.

How do I fix seizing pecan pralines?

When you are beating the mixture for the final time until it loses its gloss, it is easy to over-beat just a bit too long and the mixture will begin to seize. Try adding a teaspoon of hot water to loosen it up enough to drop on the baking sheets. You can also do this if it stiffens up too fast to get all the candy portioned.

Do pecan pralines ship well?

Pecan pralines made from this recipe make great gifts and will ship well! Just be sure to pad them with tissue paper in the tin or box to keep them from getting too banged up.

If you tried thisrecipeand loved it please leave a 🌟star ratingand let me know how it goes in the commentsbelow. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

Pecan Praline (13)

4.96 from 44 ratings

Pecan Pralines

An easy to follow Pecan Praline Recipe for perfect pecan pralines every time! These praline candies are flavorful and thick! I use toasted pecans for extra crunch and flavor.

Prep: 10 minutes mins

Cook: 20 minutes mins

Total: 30 minutes mins

Servings: 16 pralines

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper. You can also use aluminum foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

  • Butter the sides of a 3-quart sauce pot. A heavy-bottomed pot will produce the best pralines.

  • In the pot, combine sugars, salt, corn syrup and milk. Stir in order to wet the sugars. I like to stir carefully to keep as little sugar from getting on the sides of the pot as possible.

  • Cook over medium heat and stir frequently until sugar dissolves. Ideally you want the sugar to dissolve before the mixture comes to a boil. This will help ensure the sugar doesn’t crystalize.

  • Bring mixture to a boil. Affix a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and cook until the softball stage is reached (235°F), stirring occasionally.

  • Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.

  • Add vanilla extract and beat by hand with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Add the pecans and continue beating by hand with a wooden spoon until the mixture loses its gloss.

  • Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper lined baking sheets. Work quickly because the mixture stiffens as it cools. Do not scrape the sides of the pot. Like fudge, that outermost layer of candy will be crystalized.

  • Pralines dropped while they are too warm will spread but those dropped when they are cooler will be more crystallized. The ideal moment is right after the candy mixture loses its gloss but before it starts to harden. I can tell you from experience it is difficult to get all 16 pralines from the pot onto the baking sheet in that window! I stopped to film the perfect consistency, but still, it’s a short window.

Video

Notes

Yield – 16 candies

Presentation – Once the mixture loses it’s gloss and thickens to the consistency of honey, start dropping it by the spoonful onto prepared baking sheets. Working quickly will ensure the shiniest pralines.

Technique – Don’t skip the cooling step! This is essential to keep the pralines from crystalizing from over stirring.

Storage – Store at room temperature for up to a month between sheets of waxed paper or parchment.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Cookies and Candies, 1971 Edition

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Course: Candy & Chocolate

Cuisine: American

Calories: 249

Like this? Leave a comment below!

Before You Go

I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious homemade candy recipes or these other homemade gift ideas!

Pecan Praline (14)

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

Leave a comment

  1. Pecan Praline (19)
    This recipe is amazing! It tastes exactly how my grandpa made them.

    Reply

    1. Hi Darcey! Awww, I’m so glad it could remind you of him!

      Reply

  2. Pecan Praline (20)
    These looked intimidating at first but were surprisingly simple to make. They tasted so fresh and delicious too.

    Reply

    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks for coming back and commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed. 🙂

      Reply

  3. Pecan Praline (21)
    These are so dang good! I drizzled dark chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt over mine. Can’t wait to make for Christmas cookie boxes.

    Reply

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Oooo, that sounds so delicious!

      Reply

  4. Pecan Praline (22)
    Such a delicious treat! Made a batch of this for a get together and they were all devoured!

    Reply

    1. Hi Gina! I’m glad you could share these with your friends, I love serving mine when I have company as well!

      Reply

  5. Pecan Praline (23)
    Kids love the extra crunchy toasted pecans in these praline candies! They were bursting with flavors that are so satisfying.

    Reply

    1. Hi Sharina! I’m so happy to hear that the kids loved them!

      Reply

Pecan Praline (2024)

FAQs

What is pecan praline made of? ›

What is a Praline? The praline is a southern tradition, commonly made with sugar, corn syrup, milk, butter, and pecan halves. It's a confection with a history as rich as its flavor.

How to fix pralines that didn't set? ›

sometimes I have no idea why they won't harden. But if your pralines are still gooey after 30-40 minutes, you may have to scrape them back into the pan and heat them again. Add a tablespoon of milk, melt the sugar, and as before, stir constantly while you bring them to a boil.

What is a praline vs pecan? ›

A pecan is a type of nut while a praline is a type of candy that is made with sugar and nuts. While pecans are the most common type of nut used in pralines, almonds or hazelnuts will work too.

What the heck is a praline? ›

praline, in French confectionery, a cooked mixture of sugar, nuts, and vanilla, often ground to a paste for use as a pastry or candy filling, analogous to marzipan; also, a sugar-coated almond or other nutmeat.

Are pecan pralines healthy? ›

Being that pecans are the main ingredient; the snack contains essential vitamins & minerals, can aid in long-term heart health, can be enjoyed by gluten intolerant consumers, can provide a high number of antioxidants, and can supply a large amount of protein & fiber.

What type of nut is a praline? ›

Pralines (US: /ˈpreɪliːn/; New Orleans, Cajun, and UK: /ˈprɑːliːn/) are confections containing nuts – usually almonds, pecans and hazelnuts – and sugar. Cream is a common third ingredient. American pralines cooling on a marble slab.

How do you soften pecan pralines? ›

Since the problem is mostly that the sugar in the pralines gets hard and crystallized, you might try softening them the way you'd soften hard brown sugar. Place a terracotta sugar saver in the container or something else that's slightly damp, like a few slices of apple or a slice of fresh bread.

Why is my praline bitter? ›

Just make sure you buy your nuts raw and not already roasted. The main reason for that is that we will cook the nuts in a pan for 10-15 min. If you do this with roasted nuts, they will end up being over-roasted and your praline will taste very bitter.

Can pralines go bad? ›

They contain no preservatives and are best consumed within a week of purchase. They never go “bad,” but after a week or so the sugar starts to crystalize and they lose the characteristic snap that you enjoy when biting them.

Are pecan pralines chewy? ›

They say it has a soft sweetness and is delectably chewy with plenty pecans.

Why are my pralines grainy? ›

Plan to make your pralines on a cool, dry day. If it's humid or rainy, as it was the first time I made pralines, the candy might end up with a more sugary, grainy texture.

How long do pecan pralines last? ›

Pecan pralines last up to three weeks. So it is better to consume the pecan pralines in the first two to three weeks after you make them. After three weeks, the pralines will not go bad but the sugar will begin to re-crystallize and so they will lose their delicious creaminess and will get a little harder to chew.

Does praline mean candied? ›

The term praline can refer to a few different confections: French praline: almonds that are cooked in boiling sugar until caramelized and crunchy. The candied almonds can then be ground to create pralin, which is used to fill chocolates or create chocolates that are categorized as praliné.

Who invented praline? ›

The actual creator of the praline is believed to be his personal chef, Clement Lassagne, but there are many versions of the story. Some versions have Lassagne getting the idea from children who were scavenging for scraps in the kitchens, nibbling on almonds and caramel leftover from one of his pastry creations.

Can you freeze pecan pralines? ›

To freeze pralines, wrap them in aluminum foil and place them in a zipper top bag or freezer container. The pralines are still a bit delicate when frozen, so don't stack other things on top of them and make sure they're in a part of the freezer where they won't get smashed.

Is pecan praline like butter pecan? ›

Butter pecan is a flavor combination of pecans, butter, and pure vanilla flavoring, making this a sweet treat you want to bite your teeth into. Pecan pralines are another popular treat option using pecans. However, pecan pralines are much sweeter and more sugar forward compared to butter pecan.

What is praline filling made of? ›

It consists of nuts, usually almonds and/or hazelnuts, coated with caramelized sugar. It results in sweet and crunchy nuts. Pralines is the name of the whole caramelized nuts, but also the name of the paste prepared from ground nuts.

What's the difference between chocolate and praline? ›

Chocolate is a solid or semi-solid state of matter that is made from cacao beans. Pralines are confections that are made with a thin shell of chocolate encasing a variety of fillings.

What's the difference between praline and pecan ice cream? ›

Compared to butter pecan ice cream, praline ice cream is smoother in texture, owing to the fact that the nuts have already been transformed into pralines. Butter pecan ice cream keeps the actual pecan nuts intact, resulting in a crunchier texture.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Patricia Veum II

Last Updated:

Views: 6513

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Patricia Veum II

Birthday: 1994-12-16

Address: 2064 Little Summit, Goldieton, MS 97651-0862

Phone: +6873952696715

Job: Principal Officer

Hobby: Rafting, Cabaret, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Inline skating, Magic, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Patricia Veum II, I am a vast, combative, smiling, famous, inexpensive, zealous, sparkling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.