Happy Shrove Tuesday!
Or Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras for all of you party animals. It’s the ONE day of the year that Christian tradition encourages gorging oneself on all of the milk, cream, sugar and “yummies” in your kitchen! The point? To clean out the midnight snacks from your pantry and fridge and get ready for 40 days of somber Lenten journeying…
Okay, so Lent doesn’t have to be full of deprivation, it can be a journey of discovery, focus, and simple living. Lent can clear out space in our lives to ponder what is most important. We can fast (or clear out space from the things that distract us), meditate and listen to God. Whether you are a Christian or not, a season of simplicity and focus can be such a lifesaver.
Shrove Tuesday is Pancake Day in many countries, and why not? Based on how many posts on pancakes I have written, it’s clear that I’m a fan. However, I wanted to mix it up this Fat Tuesday. I do love King Cake, but didn’t have enough time to make it (work and all…), so why not some New Orleans Pralines??
So much of my family is Southern with a capital S. I’ve had pralines (yes, there is more than one type of praline) at family gatherings, Mexican restaurants, and church potlucks. I sometimes dream about them. I have a couple of family praline recipes that are great, but with this one I’ve tried to tweak a few things to modernize it (skim milk and all). Note: It’s older than corn syrup, which is what a lot of pralines recipes call for, and that’s way good with me. This is easy, simple and a pure indulgence for this day of celebration!
New Orleans Pralines
Makes 40-50 small pralines, with directional help from The Kitchn
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 6 TB salted butter
- 1/2 cup skim milk (I’ve only used cows’ milk.)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups chopped or halved pecans, your choice
1. On a baking sheet, line with parchment paper or your baking mat and set aside. Stir all ingredients together in a LARGE saucepan (3 quarts or so). Heat on medium-high.
2. Once the mixture is boiling for 3 minutes, start stirring constantly while simultaneously checking to see if it has reached 238-240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Once it has reached that temp, remove the pan from the heat and STIR, STIR constantly!
3. It will start to thicken and become creamy. When the mixture gets a little “grainy” on the sides of the pan, start to drop spoonfuls all over your parchment paper. Do this quickly, as the mixture hardens quickly!! Small pralines are good…they’re rich! Let cool and try to share these nutty little indulgences.
If you’re feeling extra fancy, throw in 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips once the pot is off the stove. Stir. 🙂