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5 from 5 votes


New Orleans pralines are different from their European ancestor in that the New Orleans variety uses pecans rather than almonds, and includes cream. Pecans were used because they were, and still are plentiful. Cream was introduced as a thickener. Thus, the New Orleans pralines have a creamy consistence and are similar to fudge. They are generally made by cooking sugar, butter, cream, and pecans over a medium-high heat until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage. and are generally dropped by spoonfuls onto wax paper and left to cool. No Mardi Gras celebration would be complete without this delicious confection!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Cooling Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mardi Gras, New Orleans, Southern
Servings: 36
Calories: 149kcal
Author: Chula King


  • 3 cups light brown sugar firmly packed
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups chopped pecans lightly roasted at 350° F for 7 to 8 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring mixture constantly.
  • Continue cooking mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until a candy thermometer registers 236° F (soft ball stage).
  • Remove mixture from heat, and add butter (do not stir). Let stand until candy thermometer reaches 150° F. Stir in pecans and vanilla, using a wooden spoon. Stir constantly until candy begins to thicken.
  • Working rapidly, drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto wax paper or parchment paper. Let stand until firm. YIELD: 3 dozen.


Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 54mg | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 0.3mg