I have working internet again. At home. To go along with the other two things I can’t live without: indoor plumbing and
Diet Pepsi electricity.
Not that I’d think that I could ever get tired of using Chick-fil-A’s free wifi (hello, Spicy Chicken Biscuits!) but holy cow, was I tired of packing up the entire house just to go use Chick-fil-A’s free wifi. I have no idea how the pioneers did it.
I picked this week’s Project Pastry Queen challenge, Texas Pralines. It’s a food blogger’s dream: photographing blobs of brown.
Which only runs second to a food blog reader’s dream – looking at pictures of blobs of brown. So, you know… sorry. And they might have been prettier blobs of brown if I hadn’t gotten distracted.
But I got distracted. So they’re ugly, delicious little blobs of brown.
Pralines. They’re really just another way for Southerners to work pecans in to dessert, one that doesn’t require a fork. They’re sweet candies studded with chunks of roasted pecans. They’re pretty simple and quick, as far as candy-making is concerned. I used honey in place of the corn syrup for another layer of flavor and added the scrapings of a vanilla bean.
And then I beat the pralines for a minute too long – they should have flowed from the spoon onto the baking sheet instead of just… falling off the spoon. So if you’re going to use a mixer for the final step, don’t walk away to unpause the last 3 minutes of the season finale of Hart of Dixie! While it is your (spoiler alert) typical Zoe train wreck, it can wait for you to finish the pralines.
You can check out how the other PPQ members tackled candy-making this week here. Next week, we’re taking on the Mahogany Cake, a decadent chocolate + coffee combo. And I need to find 5 someones to come help me eat it.
Texas pecans make this southern favorite shine.
- 2 1/2 cups whole pecans (I used halves)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Scrapings of 1-2 vanilla beans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 7-9 minutes, until fragrant.
- Remove from oven and set aside.
- Over medium heat, stir together the buttermilk, baking soda, sugar, honey, and butter.
- Clip a candy thermometer onto the pot and cook until you reach softball stage (~234-240F).
- Turn off the heat and remove the candy thermometer. (At this point, I transferred it to my mixer bowl).
- Beat in the pecans and vanilla.
- Beat by hand with a wooden spoon for ~10 minutes (or by mixer for 3-4 minutes), until the candy has lost its sheen and is thick enough to just flow off of the spoon.
- Drop heaping tablespoons onto a sheet of wax paper.
- Let the candies cool completely and then wrap individually in plastic wrap.
- Will keep at room temp for 5 days.
Yields: ~22 pieces
Estimated time: 45 minutes