Every year at Christmas I try a bunch of new cookie and candy recipes. There are so many great ones out there - so many recipes, so little time.
This year I'm starting with Vanilla Pecan Pralines - a terrific candy that didn't start out to be pralines, but ended up that way!
This candy starts out a lot like my Butterscotch Spoonnoodles (one of my favorites, by the way).
I expected it to be a chewy candy because of the marshmallow. It's really more of a soft, but still firm praline - kind of like the ones you can get at a Mexican restaurant.
The marshmallow and vanilla chips give these pralines a wonderful mellow flavor.
I usually don't like regular pralines because they're grainy to me, but this candy isn't grainy at all. They kind of melt in your mouth, then you get some of those nice crunchy pecans. They get that great texture from the mixture being boiled for 8 minutes - don't skip that part.
Speaking of pecans, our eight pecan trees are being very prolific this year! Every time the wind blows, a ton more pecans fall into our front yard.
I kind of look forward to the Fall pecan crop. Neighbors from blocks away come to pick up pecans and since they come back every year it's fun to get to know them.
This year the pecans are particularly flavorful and make these Vanilla Pecan Pralines even better.
You can freeze pralines if you want to make them early. Just let them thaw to room temperature before serving.
The best way to store them for ultimate freshness, though, is to wrap them individually in little pieces of plastic wrap and put them in an airtight container. Put waxed paper between the layers to keep the pretty shapes.
I hope you enjoy these pralines. They're fairly easy to make and should definitely go on your holiday and Christmas candy list!
More holiday candy recipes for you!
- 2 ½ C granulated sugar
- 7 oz. evaporated milk
- ¼ C butter, cubed
- 1 pkg (11 oz) vanilla or white chocolate chips (recommend Ghirardelli)
- 4 oz marshmallow creme
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 C chopped pecans
- Place two long sheets of waxed paper either on cookie sheets or your counter.
- Add the sugar, milk, and butter to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, constantly stirring. Boil, then turn down the heat a little to a low boil. Boil and stir for 8 minutes.
- Add the vanilla chips and marshmallow creme and stir until chips are completely melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pecans. Stir to coat pecans until everything is evenly combined.
- Let cool for 2-3 minutes. The mixture should be thick, but creamy - if not, add a couple of more teaspoons of evaporated milk and stir well. Carefully drop by tablespoons onto the waxed paper and let cool until set.
- Store in an airtight container, layering the candy between waxed paper.
Tips and Stuff:
Boil and stir the entire 8 minutes - time it. It dissolves the sugar and gives the candy a great texture.
After removing from the stove, add a touch more evaporated milk if needed. The texture should be creamy, but not runny.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 60 Serving Size: 1 praline
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 79Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g
Nutrition Values are Approximate