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My Southern Praline Cookies

Southern Praline Cookies
    Photo Credit by FrenchQuarter.com

    This month, I was fortunate to be interviewed by ChefUniforms.com and profiled me as chef of the month.  How exciting!  So I decided to take their Que and post a few of my favorite recipes to my readers, bakers, and fellow chefs.  

    My pralines are to die for so I thought I would start with these little southern nuggets to start. I lived in Atlanta Georgia for a spell where I worked my buns off as an assistant pastry chef for a restaurant group from 1996-2001!  I learned SO much and one of the recipes I perfected to my liking are the famous southern cookies.  

    Nothing like sugar, cream, butter and nuts unite and transform into pralines. Delish! Even better when dipped in chocolate.

    ~for about 2 dozen

    Ingredients:

    2 cups light brown sugar
    ½ cup evaporated milk
    ¼ cup unsalted butter
    2 ½ cups pecans, halves or pieces
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions:

    1. Combine light brown sugar and evaporated milk in a sauce pan, boil, bring to soft ball stage.*
    2. Add butter and pecans, bring back to a soft ball stage while stirring.
    3. Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat until mixture begins to thicken.
    4. Drop by teaspoons on sheet pans lined with silicone mats.
    5. Let set and cool before serving; store in air-tight container.

    *Soft Ball Stage for Candy Making using cold water test: 235 F to 240 F (118 C to 120 C)
    A small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft, flexible ball, but flattens like a pancake after a few moments in your hand.

    -Chef Alekka

     

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