23 May 2010

Butterscotch Pralines (and LOST)

This week's SMS assignment was to make Butterscotch Pralines. I've never made candy before because (1) I had an unfortunate accident with hot sugar when I was in the fifth grade, and (2) Most candy recipes say to make them on a cool, dry day. I lived my entire life in the Deep South, and I now make my home in Virginia. We get about five cool, dry days per year. But I do remember reading that pralines were originally a french candy more akin to a brittle but when made in the warm, humid climate of New Orleans, they turn into a deliciously creamy and slightly grainy confection. So the warm-ish, damp weather today (also the day of the LOST finale!) could only help. I hoped.

Here we are coming up to a soft ball. Having never cooked with sugar before I was surprised how the temperature stayed low for a while, shot up to about 230, then hung around there for quite some time before finally going up to 238. I'm sure there is a scientific reason for this.
After the sugars (and other things) were properly cooked, I transferred it to my mixer bowl, added butterscotch chips, and let 'er rip.
Once it was creamy, I added the bits of pecan. I didn't get a picture of this stage because the candy was really wanting to set up, and I just went ahead and scooped it while I still could.
I haven't had one of the candies yet (they're setting even as I type), but I did lick the bowl, and let me tell you, these are really delicious. One thing I might do differently next time is toast the pecans, but honestly, these are pretty close to perfect as they are. Thanks to Tess of the Cookin' Chemist for picking such a nice recipe!


Candy Girl said...

Your pralines look perfect! I'm watching the LOST preview now and can't wait for the finale!

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Your pralines look great!


Mara... said...

They look wonderful! Great job with the recipe this week!

Tiff said...

Your pralines look wonderful! Sounds like they will taste great too!

Tracey said...

Wow, terrific job with the pralines! I can't believe it was your first time making candy. I've often wondered the same thing about the temperature - mine did the "hover around 230 F for a while" thing too!

Enjoy the finale of Lost! I started watching old episodes recently so I'm only on season 2 :)

Gloria said...

Yum! This was my first time using a candy thermometer and I too was surprised about how long it took to come up to temperature. Your pralines look wonderful!

Tessa said...

Glad they worked out for you! I had never made pralines either, so they were new here as well :-) Thanks for making them along with me!