Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Perils of Praline

I know how to make pralines. Mr. Snarky and I took a cooking class (Cooking classes taught by a former NFL football player are deemed acceptable in teen aged boy world.) in New Orleans a couple of years ago and they were one of the things we learned to make.

It is like knowing how to make crack.

It may be worse.

Last year at Christmas I decided to make them to give away for gifts to my neighbors. I laid them out on the island to cool.

I looked at them.

I tasted one. You can't give something away as a gift without knowing how it turned out...

I ate 14...

Yes...as in 10 plus 4. 

The neighbors ended up with lemon pound cake.

You want the recipe don't you? I struggled with the ethics of posting such a dangerous piece of information on this blog.

I'm not responsible for what you may choose to do with this information--making and eating a grotesque number of them, for instance.

The New Orleans School of Cooking makes, hands down, the BEST pralines in the Quarter.

Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 C. sugar
3/4 C. light brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. milk
6 Tbsp. butter (3/4 stick)
1 1/2 C. pecans (roasted optional)
1 Tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients and bring to a "softball stage" (238-240*), stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Stir until mixture thickens, becomes creamy and cloudy, and pecans stay suspended in mixture. Spoon out on buttered waxed paper, aluminum foil, or parchment paper.

Note: To roast pecans bake them on a sheet pan at 275* for 20-25 minutes.

"Softball Stage" is reached when you place a spoonful into a glass of water and it sticks to the side.

**Makes 1 - 50 pralines depending on size. :)

Good luck. ;)

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