2 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecan (chopped or pieces)
Combine the sugar, soda, salt, and buttermilk into a large saucepan. Cook
this mixture on MEDIUM HIGH heat and STIR CONSTANTLY. Bring mixture to a boil and continue stirring while scraping the bottom of the saucepan with
the spoon so the mixture does not burn. It will begin to thicken and will
become sort of creamy. Check the mixture with the candy thermometer and at 210°, Add the butter and Pecan Pieces and continue cooking until the
temperature reaches the ‘soft ball stage’. This will be 234°on the candy
thermometer and at this point remove from the heat and STIR in the Vanilla.
Allow to cool about 2 minutes. Begin beating the mixture with a large spoon
to incorporate air into it. It will lose its gloss and become thick and
creamy, becoming hard to stir.
Drop 2 inch mounds onto waxed paper and allow to cool. Do this quickly as
the mixture will start setting up and will be hard to handle. If it
thickens and is hard to work with, immerse your saucepan into a larger pan
that has hot water in it. In a couple of minutes, the mixture will soften
back up and you can resume making the ‘drops’.
After the pralines have cooled, store in an airtight container.