4 tablespoons butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups pecan halves, lightly toasted*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
butter for baking sheet
Preparation:In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Stir in the granulated and brown sugars, dash salt, and heavy cream. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the lid and boil until temperature reaches 242° on the candy thermometer, or almost firm ball stage. A small amount of the mixture, when added to cold water, will form a soft ball which will hold its shape and not flatten. Stir in the toasted pecans. Remove from heat and beat in flavoring. Continue beating until the candy loses its glossiness, becomes creamy in appearance, and begins to thicken. Have a buttered baking sheet or waxed paper lined baking sheet ready. Quickly drop the candy mixture by tablespoons onto the greased cookie sheet. Wrap pralines individually in plastic wrap to store.
*To toast nuts, spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in a 350° oven, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. Or, toast in an ungreased skillet over medium heat, stirring, until light golden brown and aromatic.