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Southern Buttermilk Pecan Pralines

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  • Author: Cindy Gibbs @ My Country Table
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35
  • Yield: 24 1x
  • Category: Candy
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American


These Southern Buttermilk Pecan Pralines are rich, creamy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!  The addition of pecans is the perfect complement to these sweet blissful bites!


Units Scale
  • 1 cup buttermilk, not low fat
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons real butter, unsalted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecan halves


  1. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Combine the buttermilk, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large heavy sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Clip a candy thermometer on the side of the pan and continue cooking over medium low heat (#4 on an electric stove), stirring constantly, until candy reaches 234 degrees on the candy thermometer. Due to the addition of baking soda, this candy does not test well in cold water. It foams up and separates.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Do not stir. Place pan in a sink of cold water and allow to cool to lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Test by placing your finger in the candy. When it’s just warm, remove the pan from the water.
  4. Beat candy by hand until it becomes slightly thick and creamy, about five minutes. I beat it for a minute, then stop and let it rest for a few seconds, then beat it again. It will start to slightly lose its shiny, glossy appearance.
  5. Do not wait until the candy has lost all of its glossy appearance or it will set up too quickly before you can drop it onto wax paper. The candy will finish turning once it’s dropped onto the wax paper.
  6. If you do over beat the candy and it begins to set up in pan, add a few drop of hot water and beat it with a wooden spoon until it’s smooth again.
  7. Add the pecans and mix to combine. Immediately drop onto wax paper, using a tablespoon.
  8. Allow candy to set for at least two hours. You will notice the candy losing its remaining glossy look and turning to a satiny sheen while it sets.
  9. Store candy in an airtight container.


  • Yield is about 1 1/2 pounds. Serving pieces depends on size of dropped candy. I used a slightly heaped tablespoon to drop them.
  • Total time does not include cooling and beating.
  • It’s important to cook this candy to 234 degrees. I see many pictures of this candy posted, where it has been under cooked. When it’s undercooked the result will be a sugary brown candy. The candy should be a lighter golden color and have a very creamy texture.
  • If the bottom of candy is slightly sticky after two hours, flip pieces over and allow to set a few minutes until bottoms are dry.