Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pralines

I live in Texas, we eat a lot of Pralines. Ours are typically found on the counter of every Mexican Restaurant in Texas. The Praline came to this country from France and made its way to Cajun Country in Louisiana. Mexico soon discovered this sugary confection and embraced it. Texas was next! The history of this sugary treat is fascinating. I only covered a bit of the history here!


French Settlers brought Pralines to Louisiana where Sugar and Pecan trees were plentiful.
During the 19th Century, New Orleans Chefs substituted Pecans for Almonds, added Cream to thicken the confection and created what became known throughout the American South as the Praline. They have the a creamy consistency similar to Fudge.
They're usually made by combining Sugar, Butter and Cream in a pot on medium high heat and stirring constantly until most of the water has evaporated and it reaches a brown color and a thick texture. The mixture is dropped by the spoonful onto waxed paper or aluminum foil (lightly buttered)
and allowed to cool completely.

Here's a sample of Praline recipes. There are easy recipes and more complicated ones.
Here's a variety to choose from.

Mexican Pralines

2 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Whole Milk
A Pinch of Salt
2 C roughly chopped Pecans
1 tsp Vanilla

In a saucepan on medium high heat:
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Milk
Salt
Pecans
Boil for 4 minutes.
Add Vanilla and stir.
Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper.
Allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Creamy Pralines

1 Package of Butterscotch Pudding (not instant)
1 C Granulated Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Evaporated Milk (not sweetened condensed milk)
1 TBS Butter
1 1/2 C roughly chopped Pecans.

In a saucepan on medium high heat:
Vanilla Pudding
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Evaporated Milk
Butter
Pecans
Stir well.
Boil for 4 minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat and whisk well.
Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper.
Allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Maple Pralines

1/8 tsp Salt
1 C Water
1 C roughly chopped Pecans
1 3/4 C Granulated Sugar, divided
1 TBS Butter
1/4 tsp Maple Flavoring

In a Cast Iron Skillet on low high:
1/2 C Sugar
Stir constantly until it begins to turn into a light golden syrup.
Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes to create a Caramel.
Add:
Salt
Water 
Remaining Sugar
Gently stir until the Caramel in the Skillet is dissolved.
Add:
Butter
Cook to softball stage , stirring constantly.(use a candy thermometer)
Remove from heat.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Add:
Maple Flavoring
Pecans
Stir until it becomes creamy.
Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper.
Allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Bourbon Pralines Cookies

1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 C Brown Sugar
2 tsp Flour
A pinch of Salt
1 Egg White
1 TBS of the best Bourbon you can afford!
2 C roughly chopped Pecans

In a medium mixing bowl, Sift together:
Baking Soda
Brown Sugar
Flour
Salt
Whisk well.

In a small bowl:
Egg White
Whisk well.

Add Bourbon to the Flour mixture.
Fold Egg White into the mixture.
Fold Pecans into the mixture.
Use a 1 1/2" Cookie Scoop and drop 3" apart onto a Silpat lined or Non Stick Sheet Pan (lightly sprayed with a cooking spray)
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

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