Monday, March 3, 2014

Mardi Gras Mayhem - New Orleans Pralines

Yum
Well, everyone has heard about the mayhem that can take place in the New Orleans French Quarter, but just inside the main streets are quaint, quiet little hideways.  Look....


A quiet respite to enjoy some French Creole cookin'!
So New Orleans is known for their gumbo, po' boy and muffaletta as well as their beignets and pralines.  More about the beignets tomorrow...
But let me tell you about the pralines!  Pralines are these disks of candy that are so sweet and surround pecans.  Apparently, the confection came here from France into the colonies.  Since sugar cane and pecans were in abundance, they made their way into this yummy treat!  And believe me, pralines are so good...you can't stop with just one!  So when in New Orleans, you should definetely have one, right?  Well...
you would think we would have done that but nope...didn't do it!  We saw some in some candy shops and I kept hurrying the "group" along.  Afterall, we had a 6 hour drive ahead of us and it was already late afternoon.  Tick tock!  Things had to get going!!!  Well, BIG MISTAKE!  The next 6 hours were spent complaining and whining about not getting any and that wasn't just the kiddos...hubby was complaining too.  So my lesson of the day is to get pralines while in New Orleans!!!

So this Mardi Gras, I decided to treat my family to the confection they had been denied!  I made my own pralines and I have a sneaky feeling they are as good as the ones down South!


Pralines are so stinkin' easy to make and they are absolutely delish!  I am thinking of making boxes of them for gifts next year!
Here's how you do it...
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 cups pecans
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Spray to cookie sheets lightly with cooking spray.

In large saucepan combine sugars, butter, milk, pecans and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 235 degrees on your candy thermometer or “soft ball” stage. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Stir the mixture rapidly -- and keep stirring until the mixture thickens slightly and becomes cloudy.  (The pecans should be floating in the mixture and should no longer sink to the bottom.)

Spoon out the mixture onto the prepared pans, working quickly before the candy sets. Allow pralines to cool completely before removing from cookie sheets. 


Thanks so much to Foodie Misadventures for her simple praline recipe!  You will so want to try it!  I wanted to take more pictures, but the next time I looked...gone!  The recipe will make about 20-24 candies, but look out 'cuz they go quickly!

Get ready for Mardi Gras and eat some New Orleans Pralines!

Celebrate the little things that make life sweet!

Christine