Christmas Pralines

Let's talk Holidays! I've got a secret family recipe to share with you, but first, have you picked up your free copy of Hot Toddy Sizzlers, the free book for readers that was put together by my friends, Cindy Wicklund, Elaine Chase, and Janelle Taylor, and me?

Hot Toddy Sizzlers contains novel excerpts, traditional family recipes, and Holiday thoughts. It's free at these locations:



All Romance Ebooks


and should be free on Kindle whenever they price-match.

In my contribution to this free holiday book (other than the title), I mentioned pralines, but I didn't give the recipe. Instead, I promised to post it on my blog.

Pralines are one of my favorite candies. A praline by any other name is delicious, fattening, and irresistible which is why I make them only at Christmas. I guess you can't grow up in the South without knowing how to make pralines, those yummy melt-in-your-mouth confections.

When the holidays come, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I can't seem to make enough of my special Texas Trash crunch mix and pralines. I give them as gifts to my husband's office, the neighbors, friends, and family. Now that the kids are out of the nest, they expect tins of them in the mail.

By the way, if you're like me and live in a humid climate, try to make pralines on a dry day. The humidity can interfere with the texture of the end product. Too humid and they'll be a bit gooey rather than crystallized. If that happens, just place them in the refrigerator to "harden" off. Of course, even if they're gooey, they're still delicious.

Joan's Magic Pralines


Heavy saucepan or at least a pan with a heavy bottom. Thin pots just won't cut it.

Candy thermometer

Silicone mat or baking parchment paper


2 cups brown sugar

1 cup of heavy cream or 1 cup Pet evaporated milk or 1/2 cup of each (The taste changes depending on whether you use cream, Pet milk, or both--3 slightly different tastes.)

2 tablespoons butter

2 1/2 cups Pecans


1. Assemble all ingredients so they are measured and ready to go.

2. On the counter, spread out the silicone mat or a large piece of parchment paper.

3. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and the cream, mixing well.

4. Heat over medium to high heat and bring this to a boil. Watch it. The higher the heat; the more attentive you must be so as not to scorch the mixture. Stir constantly.

5. Cook the mixture over medium heat until the candy thermometer registers 238 degrees.

6. When it reaches 238, add the butter, stir well until melted.

7. Add the pecans. Keep cooking, and don't stop stirring.

8. When the candy thermometer reaches 245 degrees, remove from heat.

9. Quickly spoon dollops of the mixture onto a silicone mat or parchment paper. Spoon small amounts because the pralines will spread out and crystallize as they cool. Next time you make pralines, adjust the size of the dollop you spoon out if they turn out too small or large.

10. Let cool on the counter for several hours. When the pralines are completely cool, remove them and wrap each in a small paper doily or a square of wax paper. Place in an airtight container.

Takeaway Truth

They're called magic pralines because they have a way of disappearing.

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