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+ servings
a small batch of pralines on a dish.
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5 from 1 vote

Small Batch Pralines

This authentic Southern pralines recipe is made using pecans, sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. Rich, creamy, and so easy to make!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candy, cookies, pecan pralines, pralines
Servings: 6 pralines
Calories: 281kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • Candy thermometer
  • 2 quart saucepan
  • Parchment paper


  • 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


  • 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.


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.


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