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Pralines For Mardi Gras

We celebrate Fat Tuesday today with these traditional praline candies.

pralines in a box

Everyone knows about King Cakes for Mardi Gras. They’re a lot of fun, sure. But I prefer to whip up some pralines to celebrate Fat Tuesday.

There’s not much to say about these delectable, fudge-like pecan candies. Know that you won’t be able to eat just one!

Pralines For Mardi Gras


  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Sweet Seasons Spice Blend (or Chinese 5 spice powder)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400.
  2. Place chopped and halved pecans on a cookie sheet and toast in oven until lightly brown and smelling toasty. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Put the sugars, salt, corn syrup, milk and butter in saucepan. Over medium heat, stir mixture constantly with a wooden spoon until sugars have dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Continue to cook until the mixture becomes a soft ball (approximately 236 degrees F on a candy thermometer). Note: If you do a cold water test, drizzle a drop of candy into a glass of cold water. The ball of candy will flatten between your fingers when you take it out of the water.
  4. Stir in the vanilla, spices and toasted nuts, and beat with a spoon by hand for approximately two minutes or until candy is slightly thick and begins to lose its gloss. Quickly drop heaping tablespoons onto waxed paper. If the candy becomes stiff, return pan to the stove and carefully reheat. You may also add a few drops of hot water.
  5. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.

This recipe uses the Sweet Seasons Spice Blend.

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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