Sampling local cuisine is one of the best parts of a vacation. Next time you’re abroad, pick up a local recipe to try at home.
What’s A Praline?
For y’all Yankees, a praline is a mix of sugars, milk, and pecans caramelized and hardened into cookie shaped candy. Think of it as a southern version of a no-bake oatmeal cookie. Below is the praline recipe from New Orleans School of Cooking, credited as making the best pralines in the city. Be sure to stop in for a lesson the next time you visit NOLA.
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup pecans
- Set out a piece of wax paper or foil before you do anything else. Once it’s time for your pralines to be taken off the heat they will harden fast. You don’t want to end up with a pecan brick in your saucepan!
- Chop your pecans to whatever ever consistency you like best then spread them onto a cookie sheet and bake at 275 degrees for about 20 minutes or until browned. Your kitchen should smell like a nut factory at this point.
- Combine all of your ingredients (including the pecans) into a sauce pot over medium heat. Then stir. Stir, stir, and keep stirring. Once it comes to a boil, stir some more.
- Keep stirring at a boil for about 3 minutes or until your candy thermometer reads 240 degrees. Note that you should hear the sugar scrapping against the sides of the sauce pot.
- Drop your pralines onto the wax paper. The size is completely up to you. As soon as your pralines harden, enjoy!