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Classic Southern Pralines

Recipe by Pam Shammo, Gibsonburg, Ohio
First place, Candies (Nut Clusters), 2017

Baking temperature:
Baking time:
Yield: 20 to 50 pralines


  • 1 ½ c granulated white sugar
  • ¾ c light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ c milk- whole is preferred but 2% is fine
  • 6 T salted butter
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ c pecans, chopped


  • Before starting to cook, lay out a piece of parchment, aluminum foil, or a silpat for the pralines. Set a 2nd spoon nearby in case you need to scrape the candy off the first spoon
  • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, at least 4 quart. Do not use smaller pan as the syrup will bubble up during cooking. It’s also harder to stir in a smaller pan
  • Cook the syrup over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a boil, start stirring constantly. Let it boil for about 3 minutes or until it registers 238 to 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer
  • Remove the pan from the heat and immediately keep stirring. Stir, stir, stir! It will become creamy, cloudy and start to thicken. When you feel it starting to get grainy, the pralines are ready
  • Drop spoonfuls of the praline syrup onto your waiting parchment. Working quickly, as the syrup starts to set as it gets cool. Let the pralines cool and harden for at least 10 minutes before eating. They will keep in an airtight container for several days
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