Pecan Praline Bread Pudd’n – Holiday cooking with love

English: Freshly hand-scooped pralines from So...

English: Freshly hand-scooped pralines from Southern Candymakers and cooling on the marble slab. These are the original creamy pralines, scooped daily in Southern Candymakers French Quarter kitchen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is in response to Hunt Mode’s post about food we fix for love, on special occasions. This is one of the regulars.  Here’s her link – go visit!!!!

First of all, we say: Pray-leen.  Okey dokey, that’s out of the way.  Pralines, or rather, deep South N’awlins pralines are decadent morsels of butter, brown sugar, pecans, and cream or evaporated milk.  They are not caramel, they are not brittle.  Rather, they are in the middle being a little creamy, a little crumbly, dissolving on the tongue and setting your mouth aglow with flavor.  And feel free to add rum, bourbon or vanilla for flavoring.  Use nice fresh plump pecans – cut in large chunks or use whole.  “Hit don’t matter none” as a friend of mine says.  Don’t use a soft bread – use one with texture.  A sourdough works fine or a Tuscan broule is good.  You need a bread that stands up to the custard – absorbing it but not turning to mush under the custard.  Fix the bread pudding, let it cook about 20 minutes then add the coarsely chopped pecan pralines on top.  Toast the pecans to add a depth of browniness to the flavor mix.  I use a rich very bad for you recipe for the bread pudding and add a few of the pecan pralines to take it to a different level of WOW.  Enjoy this with a nice strong cup of coffee, cold glass of milk or, a couple of shots of bourbon.  The darkness/lightness of the brown sugar will determine the color of the pralines.  Ho! Ho! Ho!

どうぞめしあがれ douzo meshiagare y’all!

Pecan Pralines
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups firmly-packed light or dark brown sugar
1 cup evaporated milk/heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups pecan halves – whole or chunked
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or bourbon (optional)

Butter a large sheet of wax paper or parchment paper; set aside.   In a large heavy pan over medium heat, combine sugar, brown sugar, and evaporated milk/cream; cook, stirring constantly until the thermometer reaches 235 degrees F. or when a small amount of sugar mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard but not brittle threads. If you don’t know how to tell softball stage this way, use a candy thermometer.

As soon as the temperature reaches 235 degrees F, add the butter and vanilla; stir until the butter is fully melted and the mixture is well combined (about 1 minute). Immediately remove the mixture from heat; set saucepan in a large pan of cold water to cool.

When sugar mixture has almost cooled, beat with a wooden spoon 1 minute or until it begins to lose it gloss. Immediately stir in pecans and drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared buttered wax paper, leaving about 3 inches between each ball for the pralines to spread. NOTE: Work quickly before mixture sets. If it thickens up, just place pan back on low heat to re-soften.

When pralines have cooled and have become firm, wrap individually in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store in a covered container. Makes 36 small or 20 large pralines

Rich Bread Pudding
6 cups day-old bread ( take dense bread, cube, and leave out about 8 hours)
2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup cream
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup brown sugar
1- 2 tsp. vanilla, bourbon, or rum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease well a 9×13-inch pan.

In a large bowl combine half and half, butter, cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well. Add bread and press bread down to make sure it is thoroughly soaked with liquid mixture. Let soak about 15 minutes. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.


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