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Southern Pecan Candy

Unlike traditional pralines, this recipe is spread in a pan, then cut into squares. It is loaded with pecans and has the same sweet taste as pralines. The candy was in my mother's recipe collection and dates back to 1941.—June Moffett, Santa Ana, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 40 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    about 2 pounds


  • 1 teaspoon butter plus 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 3 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound chopped pecans, toasted


  • Line a 13-in. x 9-in. pan with foil and grease the foil with 1 teaspoon butter; set aside. In a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat, cook 1 cup sugar until melted. Do not stir. Reduce heat to low; cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • In a large saucepan, combine cream and remaining sugar. Slowly pour in cooked sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 236° (soft-ball stage). Transfer to a large bowl; stir in butter and baking soda. Cool until mixture reaches 110°.
  • Add vanilla. Beat until smooth and thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in pecans. Quickly spread into prepared pan; cool completely. Using foil, lift candy out of pan. Discard foil. Store candy in an airtight container.
Editor's Note
We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.
Nutrition Facts
1 ounce-weight: 194 calories, 12g fat (2g saturated fat), 8mg cholesterol, 20mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (20g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.

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  • Joan
    May 5, 2019

    melting sugar in a cast iron skillet without stirring is not difficult, just watch it carefully as it melts slowly and turns a lovely golden brown, I have no half and half, look forward to trying recipe (melting sugar this way is how spun sugar is made for fancy pastry)

  • Yellowrose7146
    Dec 11, 2014

    It is impossible to melt sugar in a skillet let alone without stirring? Then adding a hot liquid like that to the cooler liquid makes it form into a large lump! Stay away from this recipe!