recipe at a glance
ready in: 30-60 minutes
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 cups pecan halves
Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In the saucepan combine sugar, brown sugar and half-and-half. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugars. (This should take 6 to 8 minutes). Avoid splashing the mixture on sides of the pan.
Carefully clip a candy thermometer to pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 234 F. (soft-ball stage). Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over entire surface. Reaching soft-ball stage should take 18 to 20 minutes.
Remove pan from heat. Add margarine but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to 150 . (This should take about 30 minutes). Remove thermometer, then stir in pecans. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until candy is just beginning to thicken but is still glossy. This should take 2 to 3 minutes.
Drop about 2 Tablespoons candy from a large serving spoon onto baking sheets lined with waxed paper, forming 3-inch pralines. If candy becomes too stiff to drop, stir in a few drops of hot water. Store in a tightly covered container.
Make-Ahead Tip: Up to 3 days ahead, prepare Pralines. Store at room temperature in a tightly covered container.
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