After our romantic grocery store run on Friday night, we decided that this would be a cooking weekend at Casa de Carpool. Mr. CPQ threw a pork shoulder on the grill and slow cooked it all day Saturday. I threw another pork shoulder into the dutch oven and made carnitas for burritos and tacos. But after preparing all that savory food, I had a hankerin’ for something sweet.
I curled up with some cookbooks Sunday afternoon and was leafing through Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen and came across a recipe for pecan pralines. I had time on my hands and heavy whipping cream in the refrigerator, so we were good to go.
As I was standing at the stove in all my Sunday-afternoon-fresh-from-a-nap glory, Mr. CPQ showed up with the camera. When I asked why he had the camera, he suggested that you, dear Reader, might want to know how to make a praline. Given my shabby (yet completely normal for any day around our place) attire, I assured him that this was what we in the biz call “an unbloggable moment”.
He begged to differ.
That’s me with the cheesy grin that says “Really, you’re taking a picture of me sporting the Michael Jackson tribute single glove?”
Is it too soon with the MJ reference?
We’ve moved on to Billy Mays mourning in this house. When I told Craig about his passing, we immediately agreed that we needed to keep this information from my informercial loving Baby A. What we failed to take into account was the fact that second only to his love for informercials is his love for the news, and he found out from our local broadcaster about Mr. Mays’ passing. He was immediately distraught over the fact that we’d never be able to do laundry again in the house because Mr. Oxy-Clean had died and we wouldn’t be able to buy it anymore.
I only wish it were that easy.
But I digress.
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Utensils you’ll need
Long handled whisk
Long handled spoon
Lightly buttered cookie sheet (we used Silpat liners)
Have everything pre-measured and layed out in the order you’ll need it. There won’t be time to stop stirring to gather ingredients once you’ve begun.
1. Melt butter over high heat in pot. Add white/brown sugars and cream. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.
2. Add milk and chopped pecans. Cook 4 minutes, whisking constantly.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes, whisking constantly.
4. Add vanilla and pecan halves. Whisk and cook for 15-20 minutes more. (If mixture starts smoking toward the end of cooking, lower heat.)
5. Somewhere in between 15-20 minutes, the mixture will hit 240 degrees and when drizzled across the surface of the mixture, it will form a neat thread across the surface. When this happens, removed from heat and drop the mixture by heaping spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.
My pralines were huge. The recipe says it makes three dozen, but it also said to make them two inches in diameter. I may have overshot the mark a bit.
They were also a tad softer than I would have liked, but I think I took them off the second they hit 240 degrees instead of letting them cook a minute or so more.
The taste was worth every minute spent stirring.
And in other news, it went to Mr. CPQ’s head that he was mentioned in the old blog last week and he is currently impossible to live with. He keeps telling me “Tell those blog people that I said blah blah blah” and I never get around to it, so I’ve agreed to let him guest post here and there so that he can present his side of the story.
If you have any burning questions for him (but he said answering “Does this make me look fat?” was off-limits), leave them in the comments today and I’ll let him answer them over the course of the next few weeks in a new segment I’ll be calling “Craig Sez”.
Have a nice day.