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Pralines is a southern nut candy that my husband has many memories around during the holidays.  This is a candy that is quite popular in the south.  I attempted to make it once early on in my marriage but my pralines came out runny.  So when my mother-in-law was in town this past month she made a batch of pralines for us to nibble on.  My lousy attempt at this recipe was that I failed to cook it long enough and the candy didn’t form well.  But she makes it perfect every.time.  Perhaps, years of practice?  Or maybe its because she’s a southerner and I’m a westerner?  Runs in the blood.  Regardless, pralines are quite yummy.  Quick and easy to make (unlike me –just be patient and cook to soft ball stage). 

Mama Jane’s Pralines:

1 pkg butterscotch pudding (cook and serve, not “instant”)
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup evaporated milk
1 Tablespoon butter
1 ½ cup pecans
Mix all but pecans over low heat.  When sugar dissolves, add pecans, then boil slowly for 3-5 minutes until a candy thermometer reaches the “soft ball” temperature.  (Begins at 234 degrees, up to about 240)  Also can use the following test: A small amount of syrup dropped into chilled water forms a ball, but flattens when picked up with fingers.
Remove candy mixture from stove burner and beat until candy thickens but still looks shiny.  Drop by tablespoon onto waxed paper.  Be prepared ahead of time to drop the candy quickly.  If you’ve timed it right, the first spoonfuls will be shiny, and the last ones will begin to harden even before they are dropped onto the paper. 

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