My mother could make a mean praline.  It was a treat we looked forward to but it was one of those recipes she only did occasionally.  They weren't traditional for any holiday and we didn't get them often but, every once in a while, there she was standing over a pan with a candy thermometer and we knew we had pralines coming!

I also remember stopping at a Stuckey's on nearly every road trip and getting a praline there too.  I think my Mom had a fondness for pralines.  But Mom put bourbon in hers and that gave hers a definite edge over Stuckey's!

I've had her recipe forever but I was never able to master it until one day a few years ago. I have no idea what I was doing wrong before that or what I did right then, but now I've got it - and I'm not letting it go!  Maybe it was the pan, I did get a copper pan!  I'm not letting that go either.....


4 C. Toasted Pecan Halves
2-1/2 C. Sugar
1-1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1-1/2 C. Heavy Cream
4 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Kentucky Bourbon
Pinch of Kosher Salt

2 Large Baking Sheets
Parchment Paper
Large Copper Pan
Candy Thermometer
Wooden Spoon

  • Prep your baking sheets by lining with the parchment paper.
  • Mix both sugars and the baking soda in your saucepan.
  • Stir in the cream.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the candy thermometer reads 235 Fahrenheit.
  • Immediately whisk in the butter until it is all melted.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon until blended.
  • Add the nuts and switch to your wooden spoon.
  • Stir the mixture vigorously until it thickens, about 4 or 5 minutes.
  • Immediately start dropping by spoonfuls (my wooden spoon is a heaping tablespoon) onto the parchment lined baking sheets.
  • Allow to set until dry to the touch - about 30 minutes.
  • Wrap in individual candy wrappers and store in a sealed container.
You can keep these at room temperature and they'll stay fresh for a week.  You can also freeze these for a month or two.

Box up and give as gifts or just eat the whole freaking bunch yourself!  But don't blame me if you can't fit into your skinny jeans later......

Happy National Pecan Day!!

P.S. There's a BUNCH of great Pecan Cocktails and my recipe for Candied Pecan Liqueur over at The Martini Diva Blog today too!

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