Meet the Cook: For 50 years, I've turned to this beloved recipe to make candy to give away at Christmas. Of the many types I've tried, these pecan logs continue to be the most popular. I'm a registered nurse who managed to juggle my profession with raising our five children. Besides cooking and baking, my interests include sewing and putting together family photo albums. -Maxine Ruhl, Fort Scott, Kansas
- 2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup butter, softened, divided
- 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 package (14 ounces) caramels
- 1 tablespoon milk or half-and-half cream
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- Butter an 8-in. square pan with 2 teaspoons butter; set aside. Combine confectioners sugar and milk powder; set aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, sugar and corn syrup; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Stir in confectioners' sugar mixture, about a third at a time, until blended.
- Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Continue stirring until the mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon. Spread into prepared pan. Cool.
- Cut candy into four strips; cut each strip in half. Shape each into a log; wrap in waxed paper and twist ends. Freeze or refrigerate until firm.
- Meanwhile, in a microwave, melt caramels with milk, stirring often. Roll logs in caramel mixture, then in pecans. Wrap in waxed paper. Store at room temperature in airtight containers. Cut into slices with a serrated knife. Yield: about 3-1/4 pounds.
Originally published as Holiday Pecan Logs in Country Woman November/December 1999, p33
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