Perfect Pralines

Every fall my sweet tooth begins to throb for something homemade. And easy-to-make pralines are high on the list.

Pralines (pronounced “prah-leens”) are among the simplest and most delicious of all Southern confections. Like most anything, pralines are best when made fresh at home–much better than those you see wrapped in plastic near a store’s cash register. This recipe has never failed me. Try them!


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup (light or dark)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves


  1. Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Put the sugars, salt, corn syrup, milk, and butter in saucepan. Over medium heat, stir mixture constantly with a wooden spoon until sugars have dissolved and mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Continue to cook to a soft ball stage, approximately 236° F on a candy thermometer. (If you do a cold water test, drizzle a drop of candy into a glass of cold water, the ball of candy will flatten between your fingers when you take it out of the water.) Remove from heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla and nuts, and beat with a wooden spoon by hand for about 2 minutes or until candy is slightly thick and begins to lose its gloss.
  4. Quickly drop heaping tablespoons onto waxed paper. (If the candy becomes stiff, quickly add a few drops of hot water.)
    Easy southern pralines
    Easy pralines are delicious

    © Wade Kingston

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