Baking - Desserts, Decorating

Thankful for Pralines

For Thanksgiving’s dessert this year I made a pumpkin cheesecake. I have made it before, but drizzled it with a simple caramel sauce as the garnish. This year I decided to be a little more extravagant and make some pralines, which I discovered are really just pecans in fudge. Oh yum!

I will diverge for a moment to clarify that I’m talking about American pralines. While looking up recipes for pralines I learned that European and American pralines (like many things) are quite different, each geographic region modifying the recipe a bit to use the most readily available nuts, sugars and/or chocolate. The European recipes mostly used almonds, so I decided to go with the American because I thought the pecans would go better with the pumpkin.

Now back to the delicious process (which you also can find by clicking here). I mixed, heated and boiled the pecans, sugars, butter, and milk to about 234F. I was having issues with my thermometer, so I ended up doing the water test to make sure it was at the soft ball stage – dropping a bit of the syrup into a bowl of cold water to see if it would create a soft ball. Once I reached the right temperature I removed it from the heat, added the vanilla, and set the pot in a sink of cold water for about 15 seconds while stirring constantly, then removed it from the cold water and kept beating until it started to lose its sheen. I knew it would only be a matter of seconds before it would turn into crumbs, so I scooped it out onto a parchment lined pan as quickly as I could, and it set beautifully!

I chopped the pralines into small pieces for the top of the cheesecake, and piled them on with abandon, while possibly sneaking a few to eat on the side. They added a sweet and nutty touch, as well as some nice texture, to the creamy, spiced pumpkin cheesecake. A delicious way to end a day celebrating all for which we are thankful!


2 thoughts on “Thankful for Pralines”

    1. It’s so yummy! I found a lot of the comments under the recipe at AllRecipes very helpful in the success of them. For example, putting the pot into some cold water very briefly before stirring like crazy!

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