1 cup (207g) sugar
1 cup (225g) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp (56g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups (212g) pecan halves
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Set out parchment paper for making the pralines on and have a tablespoon sized scoop hand and ready to go.
2. Add everything but the pecans, salt and vanilla extract to a medium pot and heat over medium heat. Stir regularly until it begins to foam and boil.
3. When it begins to foam and boil, stir constantly until it reaches 236 degrees.
4. Remove from heat and add the pecans, salt and vanilla extract.
5. Stir vigorously with a rubber spatula for 3 1/2 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. The longer you stir, the thicker the mixture gets. You don’t want it to get too thick, or it’ll be hard to scoop the pralines and they’ll dry more firm.
6. Quickly drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto parchment paper and allow them to cool and firm. If the mixture is too thin and spreads more than you want, stir a little bit more. If the mixture starts to cool too much as you’re scooping, place it back on the warm burner (but don’t turn it on) and let it keep the mixture warmer. I find it helps to stir the mixture after every few scoops.
7. When pralines are cool and firm, store in an airtight container.