In France and everywhere else, a praline is a generic term for any candy made with nuts. In New Orleans, a praline is a candy made with Louisiana pecans and cream. Throughout the French Quarter, pralines can be seen being made in open kitchens in some shops. There are the perfect souvenirs to bring home from New Orleans. The good thing is that they are easy to make at home.
2/3 cup Sugar
2/3 cup light Brown Sugar
½ cup Evaporated Milk
3 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
½ stick (4 tablespoons) of Butter cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
1 cup chopped Pecan pieces
Add both sugars and milk in a saucepan over medium high heat. Heat and stir about 15 to 18 minutes, to a softball stage*. Cook 3-4 minutes longer. Take off heat. Add butter and vanilla. Let the butter melt then add pecans slowly and mix well. Spoon out on wax paper to cool.
* A softball stage is 235-240 degree. At this temperature, the sugar mixture dropped into cold water will form a soft, flexible ball. If you remove the ball from the water, it will flatten like a pancake after a few minutes in your hand.