Pecan Pralines

Pecan Pralines
These are adapted from The New York Times. These are a fun holiday endeavor and make lovely gifts.

Makes 2-3 dozen


3 cups pecans

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

2-3 T Meyer's Rum

1/3 cup butter

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350.

Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 5-10 minutes.

Combine remaining ingredients except the pecans and vanilla  in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook until it reaches the soft ball stage, or between 235 and 240 degrees. In lieu of a candy thermometer, drizzle some of the hot candy into a glass of cold water. When ready, the candy ball should flatten between your fingers when you take it out of the water.

Turn off the flame and set the pot on a back burner to cool for about 15 minutes. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment, foil or a silicone mat.

Add the pecans and vanilla to the candy and stir vigorously (not so vigorously as to munch the pecans) for about a minute, or until the mixture creams a bit and loses its glossiness.

Now work fast! Use two soup spoons and scoop the mixture into 2-inch-diameter mounds onto the lined baking sheet. If the mix becomes too hard to shape, or too sandy, reheat gently until it softens, adding scant spoonful of water if it looks too thick. Cool for 2-3 minutes, then resume spooning.

Let the pralines rest for 30 minutes before serving or storing. Store in an airtight container.