Sunday, May 23, 2010

SMS: Butterscotch Pralines

Recently, I've had the privilege of baking along with several members of a baking group called Sweet Melissa Sundays. Each week one of the members chooses a recipe from the The Sweet Melissa Baking Book, and the plan is to keep going until we've baked all the way though the book.  The recipes thus far have been great, and I've really enjoyed getting to know several bloggers in the group a little bit better.

This week is was my week to pick a recipe out of the book. Since I've only been a member since March, I was both excited and a little nervous to pick a recipe knowing that 48 other bloggers would be scheduled to bake my pick. Out of the beautiful layers cakes and delicious sounding pies, I ended up choosing butterscotch pralines for 3 reasons:

1) It sounded like a pretty quick, simple recipe, and I knew that we'd be packing to move to Arizona over Memorial Day weekend.

2) I love butterscotch anything

3) Melissa describes that they are great crumbled over ice cream. 

SOLD! Both the hubby and I are suckers for anything that goes with ice cream :-) Having never actually eaten pralines before, I did a quick google search to check out the history of pralines. It sounds like the idea originated in France and was first made with almonds, but despite the French origins, the candies now consist of pecans and are most associated with New Orleans. I did wonder a little bit because it seems like most other recipes for pralines call for either butter, cream, or both, but I proceeded with Melissa's recipe as written.

The recipe basically consists of cooking a sugar mixture to a soft ball temperature and then stirring in the butterscotch chips and the pecans. As I thought, it went pretty quickly.  I only made a half batch at first, but I was done with the first recipe start to clean up in about 30 minutes (my husband begged me to make more a couple days later). I'll give you a short pictorial presentation below :

Don't the butterscotch chips look yummy! I love butterscotch!

Cooking the sugar mixture and making sure I cooked it exactly to soft ball stage. See the word soft just above the metal piece of the thermometer below  :-)

The praline mixture in the bowl. Sorry, this one isn't the greatest picture, but I was trying to work quick. They set up fast!

The verdict: we really enjoyed them! They are pretty sweet on their own, but as promised, are GREAT served over vanilla ice cream. I don't have an ice cream freezer to make my own ice cream, but I can only imagine that it'd be that much better over homemade ice cream. I hope everyone enjoyed them as much as we did! Be sure to stop by the SMS page and check out everyone's treats!

Butterscotch Pralines
From The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. butterscotch morsels
1-1/4 c. pecan pieces

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil, without further stirring, until the mixture reaches 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.

Immediately transfer the hot mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in the butterscotch morsels on medium speed until the morsels are melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in the pecans.

Immediately drop by tablespoonfuls (or a 1-ounce (#40) cookie scoop) onto parchment paper or aluminum foil. (If the mixture gets to firm, you can put it back in the saucepan and melt it carefully while stirring over low heat.) Let the pralines stand at room temperature to set, 5-10 minutes. 

Pralines keep in an airtight container at room temperature, layered between sheets of wax paper, for up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 dozen.


  1. Thank you for hosting this week. Im so glad your baking with us! I hope your move to AZ goes well.
    Your pralines look perfect! I thought the same thing about having them with ice cream! I still have not mastered the art of candy making,but I enjoyed trying this recipe. They were sooo tasty!!

  2. Thanks for choosing such a great recipe. I went through a challenging time without a candy thermometer but in the end, I won. They were delicious.

    Good luck with your move.

  3. Your pralines look perfect! Thanks for hosting this week. I loved this recipe!

  4. Thanks for hosting, Tessa! Yours look so much neater than mine - I didn't flatten them at all, they're all lumpy. :) But OHHH so good. I'm so glad you picked this recipe - I never would have made these on my own, and we reallllyyyyy enjoyed them. Thats what I love about this group - it gets you to go outside your comfort zone.

  5. Tess,

    I thought I posted a comment already...but, I don't see I'll try again...

    Thanks for hosting this week! Nice tutorial. Your pralines look fantastic!

    Thank you for selecting a delicious confection and for getting us into stretching our baking abilities. For as easy as this appeared, it was challenging. But, worth it.

    I'll be following your SMS posts!


  6. Thanks for hosting this week Tess! I'd never made or eaten a praline before this week so it was fun to give them a go. I tried to skip the butterscotch chips to less than stellar results, but I tried a second recipe without butterscotch to better results. Your pralines look fabulous and I'm glad they were a hit for you :)

  7. Your pralines look perfect Tess! Great layout for your posting too. My first try at homemade pralines of any type and I let my mixture stiffen a little too much so the candies are not as cute as yours. Great job!

  8. Thanks for hosting! Your post is so informative! Off Arizona, much better winters than Omaha! Hope the move goes well!

  9. These were delicious! Thanks so much for picking a wonderful recipe (and getting me to try my hand at candy making)!

  10. These look so yummy! I am sorry I missed cooking with you this week, but I think when I do make these I will have an easier time of it after getting to read through your post and see pictures. Anyway good luck with the move!

  11. These look wonderful Tessa. Sorry I couldn't bake along with you this week. I will definitely be making these soon.

  12. Thanks for hosting and picking a great recipe! Looks your great!!

  13. Thanks for choosing this tasty recipe! Your pralines crumbled over ice look amazing. I really wanted to try mine that way...but the last bit of ice cream I thought we had, somehow disappeared (my husband has no idea how that happened). I like that you chopped up your pecans. I left mine whole and I think smaller pieces would have been better. I will not lie, I struggled with this recipe a bit, but they turned out to be yummy in the end. Thanks again! Your pralines look wonderful. :)

  14. Hi Tessa, thanks for hosting this week; your pralines look fantastic! You know it's a hit when more are requested. I thought it was great that I could make these in the amount of time it took my dinner to bake on a weeknight. That's interesting that the other recipes have butter or cream. I guess the chips make up for it?

    Best of luck with your move, I hope everything goes well.

  15. I enjoyed your pick, even though I couldn't manage to eat more than half of one at a time! Haha. But I gave some to my regular UPS guy and he shared them with friends and they are offering to PAY me to make these for them. This is the first treat that I made that got that response! So all thanks goes to you for choosing a recipe I wouldn't have chosen on my own!

    Ps. We have the same thermometer ;)

  16. The first step calls for water to be added to the mixture, but the ingredients list doesn't say how much...HELP?!

  17. Abbi -

    Sorry for the late reply. I am out of town and will not be back to my book until Sunday. I will check on that when I get back. I do know that there WAS water in it. Thanks for noticing!

  18. Abbi-

    Thanks again for noticing the water. I checked the recipe and the amount of water should be 3/4 cup with only 1/4 c. light corn syrup. I changed the recipe to indicate this.

  19. In my free time in the job I used to eat Butterscotch Pralines, I think that the recipe is a little different than the I know but I think that has the same flavor!22dd

  20. .If you want to conduct some SMS monitoring that can show you what a particular phone has been doing,


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