Monday, February 8, 2010

Walnut Pralines


I love Charleston, SC. Though I live very close, the first time I went there was only about 2 1/2 years ago. Pretty much my entire trip was spent eating, which was not something I complained about. So many fantastic restaurants there, it is probably a good thing I don't live closer.

There is a sweet shop in downtown Charleston. I don't know what its name is, and frankly, it's probably a big tourist trap, but they make pralines. Lots of pralines. They give out free samples of these pralines, and they are oh so tasty. We intentionally walked past that shop several times a day. There was just something so addictive about those nutty chunks of melt-in-your mouth caramel-flavored sweetness.


I've been intending to make pralines for a few months, and finally had the chance a couple of days ago. I was amazed at how easy and quick these were.

I took one bite, and I was right back in Charleston.

These pralines are rich, sweet, satisfying. They have the consistency of fudge with the flavor of caramel, studded with walnuts which lend a slight bitterness. I think the next time I make them, I'll try toasting the walnuts - or whatever nuts I use. I think it would bring out a wonderful flavor that would compliment the sugary candy beautifully.


Walnut Pralines
adapted from marthastewart.com


2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
small pinch of salt
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Line two baking sheets with parchment, set aside. In a heavy-bottomed 3 quart saucepan, combine sugar, baking soda, salt and cream. Over medium-high heat, cook until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. The temperature should be 235 on a candy thermometer. Add butter and walnuts, and stir until butter is melted. Drop spoonfuls of mixture onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Work rather quickly, as mixture will become harder to scoop as it cools. Allow pralines to cool completely, about 1 hour.



10 comments:

  1. Pralines are one of my all-time favorite treats! Never had them with walnuts, but can only imagine that they are delicious :)

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  2. These look heavenly. Eating is definitely the best part of traveling :)

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  3. I don't know if I should steal this one or not as I like pralines a little too much I am thinking. This could be a dangerous thing to know. I know, I will promise them to someone else and that way I will have to deliver and can't keep but one for me. Yep, that's the plan. They look so great in your photos!

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  4. Charleston is a great food city! The name of that praline shop is on the tip of my tongue... Your pralines look delicious.

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  5. These look awesome, I love pralines.

    sweetlife

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  6. Oooooh these look SO good! Nice photos as well ;]

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  7. Yum! I've never made pralines before but I LOVE them, I'll have to give this a try!

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  8. I made pralines at Christmas and was also surprised at how easy they were. I've never tried them with walnuts--I'll have to keep that in mind for next time!

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  9. I spent my summer working on Hilton Head Island. I took a weekend trip to Charleston, SC and all we did was EAT!!!!

    It was this summer when I fell in love with praline pecans. I cannot stop thinking about them even now. I remember going into all the candy shops and getting sample after sample after sample.

    These walnuts look scrumptious!

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