Old-Fashioned Pecan Pralines are a classic Southern candy, and these luscious crunchy bites of heaven taste a little like a combination of creamy butterscotch and caramel all wrapped up in a sugary, fudgy package.
Bring sugar, cream, corn syrup, and salt to boil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly.
Continue cooking and stirring the sugar mixture until a candy thermometer reaches 236 degrees F or it reaches the soft ball stage. This will take an additional 6-8 minutes.
Remove the mixture from the heat and add the butter. Do not stir. Let it stand until it cools a bit and reaches 150 degrees F. This only takes a few minutes.
Add the pecans and vanilla and constantly stir until the candy begins to lose it gloss and thicken just a bit.
Working rapidly, drop the candy by heaping teaspoonfuls or a small scoop onto wax paper or parchment paper. Let stand until completely cool and firm.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
In making candy, the softball stage means that when you drop a bit of the candy into cold water, you can form a soft ball with it.Pralines are a delicate candy and keep better if you separate the layers of candy with wax paper or parchment paper.To lightly toast pecans, place them in a single layer and roast at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes.