Makes 20 cookies
DirectionsActive time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1½ hours (includes cooling time)
Grease a large sheet tray and 2 spoons with butter; set aside.
In a heavy, medium pot, stir together cream and both sugars and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, without stirring, until fragrant and starting to caramelize, about 7 minutes. Add pecans and butter, carefully tipping and swirling the pot until just combined (avoid stirring the mixture). Remove from heat and let cool for 2 minutes.
Add vanilla and salt and stir vigorously until thickened, about 1 minute more. Using prepared spoons, drop sugar mixture by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared sheet tray to form 2½-inch pralines. (If mixture firms up before you’ve had a chance to form all of the pralines, stir in a few drops of very hot water to loosen it.)
Set aside until firm and cooled, about 1 hour, and then store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible, by Paula Deen with Melissa Clark (Simon & Schuster, Inc.).