As I’ve mentioned before, toasting nuts before adding them to candy (or anything, really) makes the final result much more flavorful. Pecan pralines are no exception to this rule, and if you want, you can include coconut as well. I’ve included it in the instructions.
Preheat the oven to 350 and spread on a cookie sheet;
1 1/2 c. pecans or
3/4 c. pecans and 3/4 c. coconut flakes
Toast the nut(s) for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Set them aside for now.
Melt in a saucepan:
6 T. butter
Add the following and heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until you reach soft ball stage (235-240 degrees).
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T. corn syrup
3/4 c. heavy cream
I like to use my meat thermometer since I’ve broken a few of the glass candy thermometers. I also test with cold water once I’ve reached the lower end of the temperate range.
Remove from the heat and stir in:
1 T. vanilla
the toasted pecans (and coconut, if using)
Scoop the pralines into small mounds onto waxed paper. (I use my cookie scoop, which is about 1 1/2 T, but I think half that size would be better.) Let them cool until they’ve completely set.
Pecan pralines would make a delicious holiday gift, but your household might eat them all before you get the chance. The ones with coconut taste like a condensed version of German chocolate cake, minus the cake.
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