Buttermilk Pralines

 This recipe has been passed around our family for generations. It is our favorite creole candy and the technique below ensues a well made praline.

Buttermilk Pralines 

makes about 25

2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups broken or chopped pecans

    Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In the saucepan, combine brown sugar and buttermilk. Cook over medium high heat to boiling point stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. This should take 6 to 8 minutes. Avoid splashing mixture on sides of pan. Carefully clip candy thermometer into mixture. Reduce heat to medium low and cook stirring occasionally until thermometer registers 234 degree, softball stage. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over entire surface. Reaching softball stage should take 20 to 25 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. 
    Add the 2 tablespoons butter but do not stir. Let cool without stirring to 150 degree. This should take about 30 minutes. 
    Remove candy thermometer from saucepan. Immediately stir in pecans and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until candy is just beginning to thicken but is still glossy. This should take 3 to 4 minutes. 
    Quickly drop the candy from a teaspoon onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. If the candy becomes too stiff to drop easily from the soon, stir in a few drops of hot water. Store tightly covered after pralines are firm. 

    Brown Sugar PralinesPrepare Pralines as directed above, except substitute 1-cup light cream for the buttermilk.

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