Once a staple at restaurants, homemade versions of this Mexican candy are hard to find
Pecan candy in Mexico eventually migrated to Texas, where enterprising immigrants sold them on street corners in most towns.
The candies were made with readily available ingredients — sugar, cream and Texas pecans. Their similarity to the legendary Louisiana confection gave them the praline moniker.
Anyone raised in Texas will remember them next to the cash register at every Mexican restaurant, made from scratch, in-house. Those are hard to find these days, although most restaurants still have commercial versions available. They’re easy to make and in less than an hour, you’ll have a tray of nutty candies perfect for sharing, or not.
TEXAS PECAN PRALINES
2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 cups pecans
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2⁄3 cup milk
Mix all ingredients very well in a cold pan.
Turn stove on medium-high heat, and when mixture comes to a boil, cook and stir for 4 minutes. (Soft-ball stage or 234 F on a candy thermometer.)
Remove from heat. Stir for about 1 minute or until mixture is not so glossy. Spoon onto trays lined with greased foil or parchment paper. Let cool for about 15-20 minutes and remove to an airtight container if you don’t finish them off right away.
Phil Newton is a Galveston baker/cook. He’s the owner/operator of Stiglich Corner with partner Cindy Roberts.