I made pralines this weekend, always a hit but unfortunately I didn't wait for them to fully temp and they came out a little crumbly. They're still completely tasty, but most of it is an ice cream sprinkle instead of a cookie.
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 tsps baking soda
- 1 vanilla bean (or 2 Tbs extract)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 Tbs butter
- 2 cups pecans
In a tall heavy pot (it bubbles a LOT, but I used a tall soup pot comfortably)
Mix the buttermilk, sugar, baking soda, scrapings of vanilla bean and salt. Place the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture browns and reaches the soft-ball stage of 232 degrees, about 35 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
Add the butter, pecans (and vanilla extract if no bean) and beat until the mixture is glossy and thick. Spoon onto greased waxed paper. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container, needs no refrigeration.
- My version is low on pecans. I don't like pecans, but my mother (who loves pecans) swears it won't set unless you have pecans in it, so I add the pecans. The standard amount would be 4 cups or you can half the recipe and just use 2 cups.
- If you don't wait for them to completely cool then they will crack/break/crumble when you try to get them off the wax paper. If you think you've waited long enough, wait at least another 30 minutes because you probably haven't waited long enough.
- You can spoon it into metal cookie cutters if you want shapes, but I don't have enough cookie cutters and I think it's kind of overkill.