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Holiday Southern Pralines

Holiday Southern Pralines

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  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


A holiday dessert you don’t need utensils for!


Units Scale
  • 1 C dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1/2 C pecan halves and pieces, toasted
  • 1/4 C dried cranberry
  • 4 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg


  1. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Alternatively, you can line it with foil and lightly grease it. Select a small spoon that you’ll use to drop the pralines, and grease that as well. Keep the baking spray or oil you’re using close in case you need to grease the spoon again.
  2. Place a medium-sized saucepan on the stove and affix your candy thermometer to the side, if using. If you’re not using it I hope you have hella experience making candy or you plan on using an instant-read thermometer later! Add the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, salt, cinnamon, and cloves to the pan and bring a boil over high heat, whisking constantly. Continue whisking the mixture for 3-5 minutes to allow the sugars to dissolve, all the way until it reaches what’s called the “hard” or “firm ball” stage, which is around 240°F. As soon as it reaches this temperature remove it from the heat and allow it to cool, undisturbed, for 4 minutes.
     To prevent the white spots Pralines can form when the sugar starts to crystallize, transfer the pot to a bowl of cold water while it cools, and only cool it for 3 minutes.
    3. After the cooling period grab a wooden spoon and stir in the vanilla, cranberries, and pecans. Beat the crap out of this mixture for about 2-3 minutes – stir it with all the speed and elbow strength you can muster! –  until it’s thickened up. It’s right when the pecans and cranberries are kind of ‘suspended’ or floating in the mixture. It should look like melted caramel or really thick syrup.  Now, move quickly!
  3. No really, move REALLY FAST. As fast as you can, or you’ll end up with one big ass praline the shape of your saucepan. Grab your greased spoon and dollop portions of the hot praline mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it around into the desired shape QUICKLY and continue until you’ve prepared all of the pralines.
  4. Dot the tops of the pralines with more dried cranberries and toasted pecan pieces, if desired. Let them cool completely on the counter, then pack into an air-tight container and eat within a couple of days.


  • You can watch me make these on Tiktok if you like.
  • Adapted from Emeril.
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
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