Have you ever tasted something and immediately, as soon as it hits your tongue, you know it is familiar?! That’s how it was when I first tasted these bourbon pralines. I found the recipe in my grandma’s old recipe journal and bookmarked it to make over the holiday season. Into the first bite I knew I had had these before. I must have snuck one from my grandma’s kitchen as a child!
The recipe is one typed out from a typewriter and taped into a old recipe binder. Beside it she has the date of 1977 handwritten. And below it she has the same recipe written on a recipe card taped it. I figured the double recipe must mean it was a favorite. And now I can easily tell why.
These bourbon pecan pralines are out of this world!! They are perfectly caramely- and crunchy with enough bourbon to not be disguised and perfectly sweet for a holiday treat. Our plans were to give some of these away as gifts to close friends but between us sneaking into the candy jar and friends coming over and spotting them in our kitchen, they were quickly gone, but enjoyed none the less. Guess we’ll have to make another batch.
- 2 cups white sugar or pure sugar cane
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups pecans
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
Prepare two large baking sheets by covering them in wax paper.
In a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pan, combine the sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt. Place a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan (if you have one). Cook for 5 minutes over moderately high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The mixture should get frothy. Add in pecans, turn heat to medium low, and continue to cook, stirring and scraping the sides of the pan. Stir until the mixture reaches 238 degrees or until a small drop of the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water. It should take 30-45 minutes to reach this temperature. Stir, stir, stir.
Once temperature has been reached, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and bourbon then spoon out onto prepared baking sheet. Work quickly as you drop the candy mixture by the tablespoon onto wax paper (the pralines harden and crystalize quickly!). Let cool and harden, then store in a tightly covered tin can or tupperware.
Work quickly to spoon the pralines out on the wax paper so the candy doesn't harden. Also, be very careful not to over cook or the candy will crystalize (it won't look good but will still taste good if you do happen to overcook these!)