Monday, April 18, 2016

{Easy} Salted Praline Pecan Clusters

{Easy} Salted Praline Pecan Clusters
Look...I'm as Yankee as it gets. No one in my family is from the South or ever has been. I've lived in Ohio and NYC. I'm Italian and Irish. I think the Civil War did in fact end 150+ years ago. I don't like sweet tea.

Buuut sometimes I say y'all. And I love comfort food. And I love pralines.

So...Southerners...can you just like let me sometimes be one of you? In the land of pralines, at least?
{Easy} Salted Praline Pecan Clusters
That said...I'm 99% sure these are not traditional pralines. I've actually had a few pralines and these have very little in common with them. I said...what do I know? And regardless, this recipe is insanely easy and yields DELICIOUS little pecan caramel-y clusters!
{Easy} Salted Praline Pecan Clusters
And you know what the best part of these "pralines" is? Ok....well...the best part is the taste.

But do you know the SECOND best part?? You make this recipe by just putting some stuff together and throwing it in the microwave! And...that's mostly it. Then you spoon some of the mixture onto a silpat or wax paper or something and sprinkle it with salt and YOU'RE DONE! This is actually a pretty dangerous situation we're all in now. Because we can have these YUMMALICIOUS lovelies so quickly and so easily. It's bonkers.

And seriously....they're so rich. And salty-sweet. And crunchy. It's like...pecans covered in a hardened salted caramel or butterscotch sauce...sorta. They're good, my friends. SO GOOD. That's all you need to know.

{Easy} Salted Praline Pecan Clusters

From Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen

{Easy} Salted Praline Pecan Clusters
Makes 12-20 clusters, depending on size
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. butter 
  • 1 and 1/4 cup pecan halves
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt + extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • Combine the sugars, heavy cream, butter, pecan halves, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a  microwaveable bowl (that is deep enough to prevent it from boiling over).
  • Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir (the mixture will be hot-be careful!)
  • Microwave on high for an additional 3 and 1/2 minutes. Stir and see if it is thoroughly thickened (it should be beginning to form along the sides of the bowl and not be runny). If needed, microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring after each, until thickened (the initial 6.5 minutes plus a potential extra minute should be good if you have a 1000-1300 watt microwave, if you have a lower wattage it may take more time).
  • Let cool for 15 seconds.
  • Stir in the vanilla. 
  • Use a small spoon or ice cream scoop or cookie scoop to drop small clusters/clumps of the pecan caramel mixture onto a silicone baking mat or buttered wax paper. Immediately sprinkle with sea salt and then allow to cool completely.
  • Eat fresh or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days!

{Easy} Salted Praline Pecan Clusters

... a good way :D
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