Food & dining

Seasonal Recipes

Recipe for buttermilk pecan pralines

Katherine Hysmith for the boston globe

Makes 2 dozen

Where European pralines are brittle, this traditional Southern recipe calls for buttermilk, which gives the nut clusters a fudgy, crumbly texture. The exact pronunciation of this little confection is a point of contention throughout the South (some say “prah-leen” others say “pray-leen”), where they are a sweet staple in cookie jars and at bake sales. You need a candy thermometer to make these.

1cup buttermilk
1teaspoon baking soda
2cups sugar
1tablespoon butter
1teaspoon vanilla extract
2cups pecans

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large saucepan off the heat, combine the buttermilk, baking soda, and sugar. Set on medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to let the mixture bubble until it turns a deep amber color and large bubbles begin to form (this is the softball stage, or 234 degrees on a candy thermometer).


3. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Fold in the pecans and continue to stir until slightly creamy.

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4. Working quickly before the mixture begins to set, drop spoonfuls onto the parchment. Set aside to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Katherine Hysmith