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Y’all this is it… probably the most important post on my entire blog. It’s not decorating related and that’s fine because pralines = life. Honestly… they’re my absolute favorite part of Christmas!
Now I know what you’re all thinking… she probably says that about everything, she’s overacting!
No, I mean it. Ever since I was a little girl we would decorate for Christmas and put up the tree but it wasn’t until Mom broke out the cookbook and we made a batch of Nana’s pralines that it was truly Christmas. So today I’m going to share a little piece of my Christmas with all of you.
3 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Corn Syrup
1 Cup Evaporated Milk
1 1/2 Cups Pecans
1/2 Stick Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Hand Mixer / Large Mixer
Scotch-Brite® Scrub Sponges
Alright so let’s get started… as my hubby always says “Pralines are just a big pile of sugar” (you can tell he’s not from the south) so in true southern fashion go ahead and measure your granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and evaporated milk together in your large pot. Easy peazy lemon squeezy!
Here’s a little tip: spray your measuring cup with a little bit of cooking spray! Your corn syrup will slide right out so that all of your syrup ends up in the recipe and not in your mixing cup… thanks for the tip Mom!
Now that your first four ingredients are all mixed together go ahead and set them on the stove to boil… make sure you boil on a medium heat. Mom says a high heat will move the mixture too quickly! It will take about 5-10 minutes to get to the “soft ball” stage but once the mixture starts boiling go ahead and check every couple minutes.
Once your mixture is boiling you’ll want to check to see if you can form a “soft ball”. If you haven’t done this before it sounds waaaay harder than it is. Basically you take a small dish full of cold water and scoop a spoonful of mixture into the water. Then using your finger you make the mixture into a soft ball… once the mixture can hold the shape of a soft ball and is no longer a lump it’s ready!
For you visual folk Mom and I made a quick video showing this step… it can be super confusing the first time!
Now that your sugar is put away it’s time to clean up your work-space so you can lay out the wax paper! I don’t know about y’all but I always make a HUGE mess when I’m scooping sugar… and those little crystals can be a pain in the rear to clean up.
I grabbed a brand new pack of Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges at Walmart since Trevor goes through sponges like air around here… I always have to buy the 9 pack! I love these little guys since they clean without scratching and I can use them on my counter top and cook top safely.
Using the right tools for each surface, cleaning your home will be easier and faster… these little blue non-scratch sponges are perfect for non-stick cookware, counter tops, cook tops, tubs, shower tile, windows, and dishes. If your hubby goes through sponges like they were potato chips you might want to stock up before the holiday season… cooking all those yummy Christmas dishes always makes a huge mess at my house! Make sure you’re using the right sponge for your surface over here at Scotch-Brite® headquarters!
Once your work surface is clear go ahead and lay out a large sheet of wax paper… it’s almost time to form the Pralines!
Go ahead and mix the pecans into your mixture once the “soft ball” stage is achieved. Now you have 3 minutes to wait until it’s time to move on!
3 minutes isn’t much but it’s enough time to take a small tour of Mom’s pretty kitchen!
It’s already decorated for Christmas and everything.
After your three minutes are up go ahead and remove your mixture from the heat… and mix in your butter and vanilla! Now it’s time to drop your mixture onto the wax paper and make your pralines!
There’s not an art-form to this… simply grab a spoon and start scooping!
It’ll only take a couple minutes for the pralines to set up… after we finish cleaning our big pot the first couple should be ready for the official taste tester (that’s me…).
I like the Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge for my heavy messes (like pans, oven racks, grill racks, tools, tires, sinks and pots with lots of pralines in them!). They clean tough messes 50% faster which is perfect for tough, baked-on messes! Yay!
Of course when you go through as many sponges as we do you need to buy them in bulk but not everyone needs the 9 pack… you can grab a 3-Pack: $2.96, a 6-Pack: $5.48 or the full monty: a 9-Pack for $7.97. With all this holiday baking though I think I’m going to go through a couple sponges, good thing there’s a coupon!
Save $1 on any two Scotch-Brite Products (Scrub Sponges, Lint Rollers and Scrubbing Dish Cloths). That means you can get a dollar off the super scrubby Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges!
I definitely use the green heavy duty sponges for my pots and pans… they make clean up a snap which is great when you have pralines cooking!
At this point the kitchen should be clean and the Pralines should be done! The only question left to answer is how I can tell those cute little faces they aren’t getting their paws on my pralines?!
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