Food & Drink

Pecan Praline Recipe

Makes about 2 dozen, depending on the size

A Southern classic treat

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

Is it any wonder that pralines are a classic of both New Orleans and Charleston? The texture and the flavor are simply irresistible. As long as you have a candy thermometer and a strong arm for beating, pralines aren’t difficult to make. But don’t attempt making them on a rainy day. They may not set up properly.



  • Kathleen Purvis's Pecan Pralines

    • Nonstick cooking spray

    • 1 (16-oz.) box light brown sugar

    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

    • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter

    • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

    • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. Spread out a large sheet of parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.


  2. Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat. Stir until the butter is melted and the mixture comes to a full, rolling boil. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot, making sure the bulb isn’t touching the bottom. Cook until the mixture reaches 240°. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.


  3. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and is just starting to pull together. Immediately drop the pralines by tablespoon onto the prepared parchment paper. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

  4. NOTE: Knowing when to stop beating is the trickiest part of making pralines. The mixture should still be a little shiny and soft enough to spoon out but firm enough to hold its shape. Some sources say it will change color when it’s ready, but the change can be very subtle.

From PECANS: A SAVOR THE SOUTH cookbook by Kathleen Purvis. Copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Purvis.  Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.