Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just a Little Late

Last week we celebrated Fat Tuesday. I know it's a week late. Catching up seems to be somewhat of a past time for me these days. Fat Tuesday is a day of feasting. Celebrating. In a french manner.

I spent a few days in New Orleans last year. The mecca of Marti Gras and Fat Tuesday celebrations. While I was there, I definitely feasted. There was a certain little shop that I went into several times.

Aunt Sally's. The Praline shop. With samples.
I kept going back.

If you don't know what a praline is.... well, it's kind of like a soft candy. Mapley. Nutty. Caramely. Invented by the french and planted here in the south by them.

Now, after I ate a heaping bowl of jumbayla, I munched on a couple of these. Though I doubt they are quite Aunt Sally's, they still taste fabulously praliney. I used a recipe from the only Southern woman I could think of whose recipe I know would turn out great... Paula Dean:

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 1/2 cups pecan halves

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 to a soft ball stage, approximately 236 degrees F on a candy thermometer. (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.) Remove from heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
Add the vanilla and nuts, and beat with a spoon by hand for approximately 2 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, add a few drops of hot water

Song: Les Yeux Overts, Beautiful South


Jenny said...

My mouth is watering just looking at those photos! I miss Aunt Sally's!!!

Stacey J. said...

Speaking of smuggling food... didn't you hide the pralines when you came home... or did you just eat them all?!

Beth said...

Love Pralines! There is a great little place in Savannah, GA, sounds like Aunt Sally's...I've never tried to make them, maybe I'll give it a shot!

kristen said...

very well done, especially for the altitude. look just like my grandma's !

Stacey J. said...

Thanks Kristen!!! I tried. I'm a newbie! Now I just have to figure out how to keep them fresh for longer than I did!

Dominique Long said...

I'm drooling!