Christmas Means Homemade Pecan Pralines

I love the holidays—the music, the decorations, the Salvation Army bell ringers, decorated trees, outdoor displays, Hallmark movies, Holiday romances, the food—everything!

Saturday Share: Pecan Pralines

I can't begin to tell you how delicious Pecan Pralines are. I love them more than any other candy. Yes, they are high in fat and sugar, but the southern temptation known as praline is worth going a little overboard.
Not From the South?

Then please allow me to introduce you to the praline. The first thing you should know is they're praw-leen, not pray-leen. Whatever you call it, a praline by any other name is still delicious, fattening, and irresistible. They're made from butter, caramelized brown sugar, and tons of pecans. Oh, and that particular nut is pronounced puh-cahn. Not pee-cann. (I always tell non-southerners that a pee-cann is a container for urine.)

Cookbook author Nathalie Dupree wrote in Southern Memories: “I can’t imagine a world without pralines.”

Me either! You just can’t grow up in the South without learning how to make pralines. Here's my secret family recipe for these yummy melt-in-your-mouth confections.

Joan’s Christmas Pralines

  • heavy flat-bottomed saucepan
  • a candy thermometer
  • 1 cup of heavy cream or 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup Pet Evaporated Milk
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • large sheet of parchment paper, foil, a marble slab, or a silicone mat spread on the counter.
  • In the saucepan, combine packed brown sugar and cream or cream mixture.
  • Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan so that the bulb rests in the liquid but doesn't touch the bottom of the pot.
  • Turn the heat on and bring the mixture to a bubbling boil.
  • Cook on medium heat to 238 degrees on the candy thermometer.
  • When the mixture reaches 238, add the butter and stir until melted.
  • Stir in the chopped pecans and stire until all are coated.
  • With the saucepan still on the heat, continue cooking until candy thermometer reaches 245 degrees.
  • When it reaches 245, remove immediately from heat. Speed is necessary now because you don't want the mixture to seize.
  • Quickly spoon small spoonfuls of the mixture onto the surface you'll be using: the silicone mat or parchment paper or whatever.
  • The pralines will spread so try to use small spoonfuls until you get the hang of it and can make the size you want.
That's it! The pralines crystallize as they cool. You'll see this as they get cloudy rather than the shiny, glossy appearance the mixture had when you started spooning it out.

Wait until they are completely cool. Then wrap each praline in a small paper doily, cellophane, or wax paper. Store in airtight container. These make a wonderful gift, but they are so delicious you may want to hoard them for yourself. Just brew some delicious coffee to go with the pralines. Superb!

Sweet Treat; No Calories

By the way, I have 3 Holiday Romances that give you a sweet--and funny--treat with zero calories. They're all available at Amazon and other ebook sellers.

LuvU4Ever is free. Review: "This is one of the most erotic and romantic stories I've ever read. The background story sets everything up."

Nobody's Cinderella is a full-length novel ($3.99). In this romantic comedy, Darcy is in love with her boss, Chase Whittaker, but she's not even a blip on his radar! Then, Darcy makes a wish on a Christmas star, and her BFF (obviously a fairy godmother in disguise) helps transform her into the kind of hottie Chase likes. Darcy should have remembered that old cautionary: be careful what you wish for!

Last Christmas

Last Christmas, Annabelle gave Rick her heart. He stomped on it. This Christmas, Rick's going to pay!

Published this month, Last Christmas is a sassy, funny holiday romance about love at first sight, heartbreak, revenge, redemption, and second chances.

Priced at only 99cents during December, Last Christmas is available at: Amazon * iBooks & Other D2D Distributors * Kobo * Nook * Smashwords.

Takeaway Truth

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

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