praline cookies
Photo: Thinkstock

Makes 20 cookies


  • 4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. salt


    Active 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.).

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