Pecan Pralines

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This is my second candy recipe this month! I can hardly believe it! Usually, I find it tough to pound just one out within a whole year- but two in 1 month?! That’s just crazy! Haha, I guess Christmas has just got me in the candy-making kind of mood. What can I say? I just hope that there are some candy-making fans out there that can relate. Especially ones that love their pecans since both recipes seem to highlight them… coincidence? Truly not. I just love pecans.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit some very good friends down in Savannah, GA this past summer. It was an incredible visit to see the historic downtown area, but I have got to say that my favorite part was buying a bag full of deliciousness from Savannah’s Candy Kitchen. Holy COW! Do they know how to make pecan pralines or what! Amazing. Just amazing. I knew I had to try and recreate the treat when I went into candy-making mode this month.

So how did my homemade version compare? Well, let’s just say that I need some practice… haha. I ran into one major problem- the number of pecans to add. The original recipe calls for 4 cups of small whole pecans. Since I only had the rather large commercial ones, I decided to just roughly chop up 4 cups worth. Here is the problem with that tactic- 4 cups pre-chopped and 4 cups post-chopped nuts measure totally differently. Not even close. I probably added 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups extra pecans. And at first, I thought “maybe it won’t matter… it will just be a little extra texture.” It DOES matter. It throws the whole praline off. Not enough of that sweet, caramelly praline candy per bite per pecan. Just a TON of lightly pralined pecans, basically. Well, this problem can easily be avoided on your behalf if you measure out 3 to 4 cups pecans before chopping or, heck, don’t bother chopping them at all if you want. It’s probably not necessary, especially if they are small to begin with. Maybe just snap a few of the large ones in half? And I say 3 to 4 cups because I really think you should leave it up to your eye and your own personal tastes when adding the pecans.

Another thing that I learned about making pecan pralines is that you need to scoop them out fast- as soon as the pecans are mixed in. By the time that I got to the last few pralines, the candy mixture had cooled so much that they were glopping into rough looking circles. If you have ever seen a true pecan praline, you know that they are supposed to spread out when dropped, creating a nice smooth finish. Not a choppy and spikey round… haha But that can easily be avoided as long as you are quick about things.

Overall, the whole process was SO simple! Just mix all the ingredients together (not including the pecans), bring to 236°F, stir in pecans, scoop, and call it a day! Quite a bit simpler than the Divinity I made a few weeks ago. But I wouldn’t knock that recipe either- super yummy! Which do I prefer? Probably these- they have more sentiment attached to them for myself : ) But next time I make up a batch I will definitely be down-sizing my pecan addition… I might even toast them too beforehand! (Not a traditional technique).

Pecan Pralines

Serves: 2 dozen candies


  • 8 Tb (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups light brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 Tb dark corn syrup or molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups small pecans halves


Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

In a large heavy-bottomed pot over med-high heat, combine the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil and clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 236°F. Remove from the heat, add the pecans, and continue to stir for 1 minute, or until the mixture just begins to look creamy.

Using a large tablespoon, quickly drop the candies onto the prepared pan. Cool completely. The pralines can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week.

Notes: I suggest adding enough pecans to your liking. I added 4 cups, measured after rough chopping, and I thought it was more than necessary. 3 cups would have been better.

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