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May 8, 2006 12:35 PM

Pralines - Need Recipes

  • d

My absolute favorite candy in the whole wide world is pralines from River Street Sweets in Savannah or their sister outlet in Charleston, SC. As we will not be getting to the Southeast this year, does anyone have foolproof praline recipe? I tried making this once, only to end up with a pourable mixture that was more like butterscotch ice cream sauce. Please share preparation tips in addition to recipe. Thanks!

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  1. You will definitely need a candy thermometer and a large geavy pot, about 8 qts. in size. It is also important to not rush the candy so don't make it over high heat trying to get to temperature too fast another important issue is to use cane sugar. Get Domino or C&H brand.

    Combine 2 1/2 C. sugar in a large pot with 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 C. buttermilk and 1/4 tsp. salt. Attach the candy thermometer. Cook stirring frequently and scraping the bottom until the mixture reaches 210 F. Then add 3 Tbs. unsalted butter and 2 1/3 C. pecan halves. Continue to cook stirring and scraping the bottom until the mixture comes to 230 F. then remove from heat let it stand a couple of minutes to cool a bit and then beat with a wooden spoon until thick and creamy. Drop by the tablespoonful on to foil, parchment or waxed paper and top each praline with a perfect pecan half if you wish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Candy

      would you cook this over medium heat? low?

    2. Unfortunately, "foolproof" pralines are about as good as foolproof fudge. OK as a fairly generic junk food, but definitely not the real thing.

      Cooking sugar, ie candymaking, is an acquired skill; unless you get lucky, the first couple of batches are likely to come out grainy. (I myself have gotten lucky a couple of times, but never got into it enough to develop the real knack.) The foolproof ones usually use an excess of corn syrup to prevent crystallization and the texture just isn't quite right.

      If you don't want to put in the time to practice, you might look into mailorder from this place. Chances are good they'll send some to you, if you can't send yourself to them. On the other hand, even grainy pralines are better than none.;)

      1. Here's pauls Deen's recipe. if I remember that show she actaully went to River Street.

        This seems pretty easy, but don't know how close.

        Yes River Street will ship to you.


        7 Replies
        1. re: DT

          PRALINES Tried and True recipe.

          2 cups sugar
          1 cup half and half
          1/3 stick of butter (2T and 2t)
          1/8 t baking soda
          1 1/2 c whole pecans

          Combine all ingredients except the pecans in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat stir until it comes to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to stir. Cook until the mixture reaches 238*-241* on a candy thermometer or the soft ball stage. Stir in the pecans. Remove from heat and stir until the mixture begins to thicken and is creamy and cloudy. Drop on a buttered pan using an ice cream scoop. Let cool.

          *The recipe calls for raw pecans, but I like to toast them a little before putting them in the candy mixture. I also drop my pralines on a Silpat mat, and then I don't have to use a buttered pan. Less Calories!!! :) :) :)

          1. re: Barbarainnc

            I second this recipe-- but I use heavy cream instead of half and half. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

            1. re: Sapa

              Does that recipe actually compare to River Street's delectable pralines? I adore them...and I've only been to their store a few times over the past years, but I always get pralines there when I am near one. Would be awesome if I could make these myself!

              1. re: FitMom4Life

                Well, I tried this recipe tonight, and though they are okay, they are far from the River Street pralines that I was looking for. But at least now I know what the difference is...brown sugar! I made a butter pecan sauce yesterday, and after tasting it I was thinking how similar the flavor was to the River Street candies. I've found a couple of other recipes that have brown sugar, so I'm going to try them.

                1. re: FitMom4Life

                  A word of caution I too used all brown sugar when we made them, but they taste a little too maple-y, will try one cup white and one cup brown sugar next time.

                  No, they weren't as good as River Street pralines, but awfully good considering we live in Ohio and can't travel 750 miles or are too cheap to ship them.

                  1. re: FitMom4Life

                    i put myself trough grad school with one of my jobs at river street sweets, and i made pralines there on quite afew occasions. the 'tried and true' recipe above is pretty much spot on from what i remember. so as of @ 10 years ago no brown sugar was to be found.

              2. re: Barbarainnc

                The recipe came from Paula Deen Show where she had the owner of River Street Sweets, Stan Strickland making this recipe. They turned out great for me. This reply is for the recipe posted Sept. 29, 2011.

                PRALINES Tried and True

            2. I, too, fell in love with the pralines from River Street Sweets in Savannah. I've tried several recipes, and I've found this is the closest:

              Pecan Pralines

              1 1/2 c. toasted pecans (they really do taste better toasted... just don't burn them!)
              1 1/2 c. white sugar
              3/8 c. butter (I think that's 6 T. if I remember right)
              3/4 c. brown sugar
              1/2 c. milk or cream (I use cream)
              1 t. vanilla (I usually use a tablespoon I think - good quality Madagascar vanilla)

              - Line baking sheet with parchment. I usually need 2 for each batch. I suppose you could also put a long piece of parchment on the countertop or table, it might be easier that way now that I think of it. It's best if this is located directly beside your cooktop.
              - In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine pecans, sugar, butter, brown sugar, milk or cream, and vanilla.
              - Heat to between 234-240 degrees, "soft ball", stirring occasionally
              - When it's heated to the proper temperature, remove from heat, and stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes.
              - (If you want to make chocolate pralines like they have at River Street Sweets, add some semi-sweet chocolate at this point)
              - Here's the tricky part, the part where I always get burned, so be careful:
              Drop the mixture by spoonfuls onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. You want to do this FAST. I usually have an oven mitt on my left hand holding the saucepan, and use a regular spoon in my right hand to drop them. You have a very limited amount of time here. If it gets too cool, the pralines will be grainy-crumbley-sugary. What you can do instead is heat the remaining mixture again, but usually I need to add a bit of cream to get the right consistency when heating the second time. Then repeat the stirring, and drop the remaining mixture by spoonful on the parchment.
              - Allow the pralines to cool completely on the parchment (if you can resist!!)

              5 Replies
              1. re: kyoules

                Thanks! I will try this in a week when I make pralines for Tgiving next week. I use a Silpat directly on my counter and it works just fine instead of parchment paper. As we like fairly large pralines, I also use a gravy spoon, which seems like the perfect tool to dip out the candies.

                1. re: Diane in Bexley

                  I used an ice cream scoop the other night. It worked great. I'll try this recipe too, but I still think it needs more brown sugar. We'll see.

                  1. re: FitMom4Life

                    Did you try a new recipe? I don't know what I was thinking when I responded previously-- I ALWAYS use brown sugar in my pralines. I haven't been to the place you speak of in Savannah, but I do love a good praline. This is a recipe that I do make, and uses a significant amount of brown sugar.


                    I'd love to hear back if you found a recipe to your liking!

                    1. re: Sapa

                      I just made the recipe you posted and they are absolute ringers for the River Street pralines! This recipe is the one I was hoping to find -thanks so much for posting it.

                      1. re: FitMom4Life

                        Oh, and I meant to add...I also made the PRALINES Tried and True recipe a second time, and split the sugar between white and brown. I made both of these recipes, the same night, so that we could compare them. The Tried and True recipe is good...until you taste the epicurious version! They are sooo rich and buttery - purely sinful. We had to put them away as we just could not stay out of them! :-)

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