Making PralinesSaturday, October 22, 2005
Each year, Av's parents host a sukkah party at their home. I bring the pralines!
1-1/2 c. white sugar
1-1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. evaporated milk
1/3 c. butter
1-1/2 c. pecans (you can use more or less)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
(also: use a bigger pot than you think you'll need for this, use a candy thermometer, and have buttered parchment or wax paper ready to spoon the pralines on)
Step one: put both sugars and the evaporated milk in the pot, and heat until the candy thermometer registers 228*. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon during the cooking process. At 228*, add the butter.
The mixture will bubble and pop, so be careful.
Step two: keep cooking until the mixture reaches 236* (236* is sufficient, but I always cook it to 238*. The thing is, the pralines won't set unless you're sure to reach this higher temperature - at least 236*. You don't want it to go too far over, though, because then the candy will be brittle and grainy and not as good.) Once you reach the higher number, take the pot off the stove and add the pecans and vanilla. Beat the mixture with your wooden spoon until it just starts looking less shiny and more dull. This should take two or three minutes.
Step three: spoon the pralines onto your buttered parchment or wax paper. (Argh! You can see that I forgot I was out of parchment paper! Thankfully I had tin foil, so I just spooned the pralines onto that. It worked just fine.)
...and here they are all set (depending on the weather, they can set in anywhere from one or two hours to a few hours - I always make these the night before I need them so I don't have to worry about how long they're taking). Delicious!