Makes 24-36, depending on size. Recipe is by Cynthia L. Nobles who says, “Pralines originated in France, where legend has it that the personal chef of sugar industrialist Marshal du Plessis-Praslin (1598-1675) created a sugar-coated almond confection that was named for his boss. It is believed that Ursuline nuns brought the recipe to New Orleans in 1727 and substituted native pecans for almonds. The praline, also known as pecan candy, was popular with both early Acadians and New Orleans Creoles. In old New Orleans, street vendors selling pecan pralines were called ‘pralinieres.’”
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 tbls. butter
3 cups pecan halves
1. Cover a hard surface with parchment paper.
2. In a large heavy saucepan combine brown sugar, white sugar, milk, salt and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat, without stirring, until mixture reaches the soft-ball stage, 238 F. This recipe works best using a candy thermometer.
3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter. When butter is melted, add pecans and stir until creamy and cloudy, and pecans are suspended in the mixture.
4. Using a tablespoon, quickly drop candies onto parchment paper. Cool completely. Can be stored 2 weeks in an airtight container.