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Christmas Candy 4: Coconut Pralines
Pralines are made throughout the year, however, here, in the south, pralines are a Christmas time tradition. They are often made for holiday parties or given as gifts. They are relatively easy to make once you find the "right touch" and they are considered a delicacy in the South. Pralines were first made over 200 years ago in France during the 17th century. The Count Cesar de Plessis Praslin created this confection as a calling card to use when courting a woman. He created this delight by boiling almonds in sugar. French colonists brought this culinary tradition with them to Louisiana. Pralines then were made with pecans which were native to the Americas and plentiful. Pralines were tweaked by adding milk to the recipe to make them creamier and this is pretty much the way they continue to be made today. This recipe is for a praline with added coconut. It is simply delightful.
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 cup light cream
- 2 2/3 cup flaked coconut
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- Combine white and brown sugars, corn syrup and cream in a heavy sauce pan. Bring to a boil over low heat. Stir constantly to prevent scorching.
- Continue to boil gently, without stirring. Use a candy thermometer to test temperature. Candy should be 236 degrees. Remove from heat.
- Add coconut, vanilla, and butter. Stir to blend. Let cool to about 110 degrees without stirring.
- When mixture reaches 110 degrees, beat vigorously until mixture begins to thicken (about 1-2 minutes).
- Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper. Allow candy to sit for about 3 hours until it is firm.
- Wrap each praline in waxed paper and place them in an airtight container.