Dear Readers: When is a SWEET PRALINE not as sweet? When the recipe doesn't turn out quite right. I have printed Caroline's Texas Microwave Pralines recipe twice, and a few readers have let me know that they have not been successful making these yummy bites of heaven.
When I printed this the last time, an editing error occurred, and, even though two editors checked the column after me, the mistake still slipped through. I apologize if you had trouble with this recipe. Believe me, if I hadn't tested it (and loved it), I would not have printed it.
It is not an "exact" recipe because microwaves vary and it's just one of those recipes! I have fixed this many times in three different microwaves (650 and 700 watts), and I, too, had a little trouble. One time I had to toss the whole mess!
Here we go:
2 cups dark or light brown sugar (firmly packed)
8 oz. heavy whipping cream (DO NOT WHIP)
1 stick (1/4 pound) real butter (you cannot use margarine or diet margarine)
2 cups pecan halves. Large pieces will work, but I did not have good results with the finely chopped pecans.
Step one: In a large, microwave-safe bowl, stir 2 cups (firmly packed) brown sugar with 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream until blended. (DO NOT whip the cream.)
Step two: Put the uncovered bowl in the microwave on high power (I used a 650-watt microwave). Start with 10 minutes and then check. The mixture needs to be BUBBLING HOT, with all of the brown sugar dissolved. Since microwaves vary, this is an important step.
Step three: When it is "bubbling," carefully remove and put in 1 stick (cut into 10-12 pats) of room-temperature butter. Stir until blended, then add 2 cups pecans.
Step four: This is a little iffy. You might need to let it sit for 30-60 seconds if it looks too runny, then start dropping by teaspoonsful onto wax paper or aluminum foil.
The first "pralines" might spread out too much and not appear to set up, but they should after a while. You need to work pretty quickly, as the mixture can harden rather fast.
Let the pralines set until completely cool and "dry." I found that the first ones took longer but turned out just fine when they were completely hardened (this could take an hour or more). When I retested in the same 650-watt microwave, cooking for 11-12 minutes, the mixture started to set up quickly, and the pralines were thicker and higher.
Visit www.Heloise .com for photos of all the steps.
-- Your friend, Heloise
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