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Small Batch Pralines

This authentic Southern praline recipe is made using pecans, sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. Rich, creamy, easy to make, and ready in less than 20 minutes!

A gold plate with five pecan pralines on it.

Pecan pralines are some of my favorite treats. These delightful candies are a simple mixture of sugar, milk, vanilla, butter, and pecans. Pralines are made entirely on the stove top by boiling the ingredients together until they become creamy and the sugars caramelize. Then, they are dropped by spoonfuls onto parchment paper to cool. Pralines can be made in minutes and are simply heavenly.

Pralines have a melt-in-your-mouth texture that is slightly crumbly but not hard. They come together within minutes and as the pecan pralines cool, they set up. Pralines make a wonderful treat to share with others during the holidays and this small batch praline recipe will yield the ideal amount for one or two people to enjoy.

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Why This Recipe Works

  • I grew up in New Orleans and this small batch praline recipe is modified from the recipe I've been using for years. It's a traditional Louisiana praline recipe.
  • This pecan praline recipe is easy to follow and the pralines cook in minutes. I bet you'll be tempted to make pralines for every occasion.
  • You only need 6 ingredients, many you might already have in your kitchen.
  • This quick recipe is perfect to use for holiday gifts or small get-togethers.

What You'll Need

the ingredients needed to make pecan pralines on a brown table labeled.

Recommended Tools:

  • A candy thermometer: Although not completely necessary, using a candy thermometer is extremely helpful. You will want to cook the praline ingredients until the syrup registers 235 degrees F to 238 degrees F on a thermometer. If you don't use a candy thermometer, boil the syrup for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • A 2-quart saucepan: This is a great size to use when making pralines. You don't want to use a pot that is too small, a 2-quart saucepan is perfect.
  • Parchment paper: You'll want to drop spoonfuls of the praline syrup onto parchment paper to cool. You can also use a silpat liner.

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Sugar: Use granulated sugar in this praline recipe.
  • Brown sugar: Either light or dark brown sugar will work well.
  • Milk: I prefer using whole milk but you can use 2% milk instead.
  • Butter: I use salted butter.
  • Pecans: I like the pecans roughly chopped, but you can leave them whole or chop them finely. You can leave the pecans out if you want to make nut-free pralines.
  • Vanilla

How To Make This Recipe

  1. Combine the sugars, milk, and butter in a medium-sized pot and cook over a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the pecans and start stirring constantly. Let the syrup boil for 3 minutes, until the syrup registers 238-240 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, add the vanilla.
  4. Continue to stir constantly. The syrup will become creamy and cloudy.
  5. As you stir, you will notice the syrup thicken. "Listen to your pot", when you start to hear the the sugar crystals scraping the sides of the pot and you feel the syrup get grainy, the pralines are ready.
  6. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper. Let cool.
Six photos showing how to make pecan pralines.

Expert Tips

  • Have all of your ingredients handy before you start making the pralines – Once you start the process of making pralines, it goes quickly and there’s no time to search for an ingredient.  Have everything pre-measured and at your fingertips.
  • Stick to the recipe and do not make adjustments.
  • Use a medium-sized, heavy saucepan. I recommend using a 2-quart saucepan.
  • Keep a kettle of hot water nearby. Making pralines can be tricky.  It’s all about timing and sometimes you might leave the syrup cooking a little longer than you should and the mixture hardens too quickly.  Don’t worry and certainly don’t throw it away.  This is where the hot water comes in handy.  Add 1 tablespoon of hot water at a time to the praline mixture and stir vigorously.  The hot water will “thin” out the praline mixture and enable you to get the consistency you should have. It’s like giving the hardened pralines a second chance.
  • Work quickly, as soon as the syrup thickens it will become hard.
  • The mixture is extremely hot and candy burns are especially painful. Take care when stirring and you might want to place the parchment paper on a cutting board to protect your counters.
three pecan pralines on a white plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Homemade Pralines Last?

Pralines will keep in an airtight container for a week although they’re best within the first 24 hours.

How Do I Make Chocolate Pralines?

Chocolate pralines are absolutely delicious! To make chocolate pralines, add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to the sugars, milk, and butter to melt and continue with the recipe as written.

Can I Make Pralines Without Pecans?

Yes! You can leave out the nuts and make nut-free pralines.

Serving Suggestions

  • Pecan pralines make great gifts to give to friends and family. You might consider wrapping the pralines in clear thick plastic and tying them up with a festive ribbon or place them in pretty glass jars.
  • Crumble a few pralines and add them to ice cream as a delicious, crunchy topping.
a bowl filled with crumbled pralines next to a yellow ice cream dish and a carton of vanilla ice cream.

What To Do With Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this praline recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Other Traditional New Orleans Recipes

If you’ve tried this pecan praline recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!

a small batch of pralines on a dish.

Small Batch Pralines

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: candy, cookies, pecan pralines, pralines
Servings: 6 pralines
Calories: 281kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup whole milk (you may also use 2% milk)
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • ¾ cup pecans , rough chopped
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Combine the sugars, milk and butter in a medium-sized pot and cook over a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • When the mixture comes to a boil, add the pecans and start stirring constantly. Let the syrup boil for 3 minutes, until the syrup registers 238-240° F on a candy thermometer.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, add the vanilla.
  • Continue to stir constantly. The syrup will become creamy and cloudy. As you stir, you will notice the syrup thicken. When you start to feel the syrup get grainy, the pralines are ready.
  • Working quickly, drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Have all of your ingredients handy before you start making the pralines – Once you start the process of making pralines, it goes quickly and there’s no time to search for an ingredient.  Have everything pre-measured and at your fingertips.
  • Stick to the recipe and do not make adjustments.
  • Use a medium-sized, heavy saucepan. I recommend using a 2-quart saucepan.
  • Keep a kettle of hot water nearby. Making pralines can be tricky.  It’s all about timing and sometimes you might leave the syrup cooking a little longer than you should and the mixture hardens too quickly.  Don’t worry and certainly don’t throw it away.  This is where the hot water comes in handy.  Add 1 tablespoon of hot water at a time to the praline mixture and stir vigorously.  The hot water will “thin”out the praline mixture and enable you to get the consistency you should have.  It’s like giving the hardened pralines a second chance.
  • Work quickly, as soon as the syrup thickens it will become hard.
  • The mixture is extremely hot and candy burns are especially painful.  Take care when stirring and you might want to place the parchment paper on a cutting board to protect your counters.

Nutrition

Serving: 1praline | Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 191IU | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

2 thoughts on “Small Batch Pralines”

  1. OMG. My very favorite candy. With a diabetic hubby, I don’t have surgery treats anymore, so this one is just for me to gorge on, all by myself. A happy Halloween TREAT. Thank you! 😋😋😋

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