These southern pecan pralines are the perfect treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. These crystalized, caramel-esque sweets are a gluten free delight topped with tender-crisp roasted pecans on top! Just a few simple ingredients that you likely have already in your kitchen will help you create this simple and easy recipe!
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Best Southern Pralines:
One of my favorite southern sweets are pecan pralines. These little buttons of sweet heaven can be seen on the streets of downtown Savannah and Charleston on any given day.
If visiting either of these cities, stop by River Street Sweets, a southern staple known for their pralines!
When I visit these popular southern stops, I always try to pick up at least one southern praline, no matter what time of year it is.
These treats are a special fall treat! Or Spring.... or Summer... or Winter.
These are great year-round!
Not only have I figured out how to make these pralines super easily, but these are quick and use just a handful of ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry and fridge!
If you follow all of the steps in the instructions you will see how easy these pralines really are!
Southern Praline Ingredients:
- 1 cup granulated sugar:
- 1 cup light brown sugar: highly recommend light brown sugar over dark brown sugar for this recipe!
- 6 Tablespoons butter: salted butter is best here. If you have unsalted butter, then add in an extra ¼ teaspoon salt to this recipe.
- ½ cup evaporated milk: Don't confuse this for sweetened condensed milk as this is not the same thing.
- ¼ teaspoon salt: Use ½ teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter for this recipe.
- 2 cup pecans: Can use whole, halved or chopped pecans, your choice!
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla: Don't skip this ingredient! So good!
Simple Praline Directions:
Preheat your oven to 315*F. Spread your pecans out evenly on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes, then remove them to cool to room temperature. Line 1 large or 2 regular baking sheets with tin foil or parchment paper and set aside.
In a large saucepan add the sugar, brown sugar, salt, evaporated milk, butter, and vanilla. Cook over high heat until candy thermometer reaches 240*F (soft ball stage).
Remove from heat and add in your pecans, stirring continuously until the mixture becomes thick, approximately 5-8 minutes. Quickly drop by large spoonfuls onto the prepared lined baking sheets.
Let set up and crystalize for 1-2 hours at room temperature.
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How to Check the Temperature of Your Praline Mixture:
Checking the temperature of your boiling praline mixture is essential to making this recipe turn out correctly.
I have my trust candy thermometer that I picked up for less than 5 dollars YEARS ago and it has not ever let me down.
You can pick up the same affordable candy thermometer here!
Using your Candy Thermometer:
- Place the very end of the candy thermometer in the middle of the pot of boiling praline mixture.
- Make sure that the bottom tip of the thermometer is submerged under the liquids but that it is not touching the bottom of the pan.
- For other recipes, you can clip the thermometer to the side of the pan using the attached clip but this recipe does best when the temperature is read from the center of the pot.
- Right when the thermometer starts to read somewhere between 235-240*F, remove the pan from heat and continue following the rest of the instructions.
How to Store Leftover Pralines:
Store your leftover cooled-to-room-temperature pralines in an airtight food-safe storage container or plastic storage bag.
Store the pralines at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Can You Freeze Pecan Pralines?
You sure as heck can freeze pralines!
Here is how I have found to do it best to keep them fresher longer:
Wrap each praline tightly in plastic wrap.
Then place all of your plastic-wrapped pralines in a freezer-safe plastic bag and sel it up tight, making sure that excess air has been removed from the bag.
Place the bag of pralines in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
Once removing the pralines form the freezer, set them out at room temperature to defrost until back at room temperature..... then enjoy!
Southern Pecan Pralines
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cup pecans
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 315*F. Spread your pecans out evenly on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes, then remove them to cool to room temperature. Line 1 large or 2 regular baking sheets with tin foil or parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large saucepan add the sugar, brown sugar, salt, evaporated milk, butter, and vanilla. Cook over high heat until candy thermometer reaches 240*F (soft ball stage).
- Remove from heat and add in your pecans, stirring continuously until the mixture becomes thick, approximately 5-8 minutes. Quickly drop by large spoonfuls onto the prepared lined baking sheets.
- Let set up and crystalize for 1-2 hours at room temperature.
If you are using unsalted butter for this recipe, then add an additional ¼ teaspoon salt to the ingredient list!
This post was originally published on September 21, 2015 and last updated on April 14, 2020.
Amy @ Accidental Happy Baker says
First off, I love how you can see the coarse salt on the tops, I love that salty/sweet combo! These definitely aren't my Grandma's proper pralines and I love the twists you put on them. I'm pinning this to my Christmas board, because they are totally going into my Christmas candy rotation.
J Trogstad says
Good idea to have these out around xmas time!
Kathryn Doherty says
Pralines are such a classic Southern treat - and I'm with you about getting them anytime I'm in Charleston! But I bet these homemade ones are even better. Love that you've got bacon and bourbon here - talking my language!! Can't wait to give these a try!
J Trogstad says
Oh! The bacon and bourbon really put it over the top! Definitely a "cheat day" type of treat with all the goodies packed in there 🙂