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New Orleans Pralines Cookies cooling on wax paper.
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5 from 12 votes

New Orleans Pralines Recipe

This pralines recipe has been a family recipe that my mom has been making for over 25 years. Whole snappy pecans in a browned sugar coating, these treats are a kind of cookie that is a classic in the south and, especially, New Orleans.
Course Dessert
Cuisine new orleans, Southern
Keyword pralines, recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 cookies
Calories 265kcal
Author Rachel


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
  • 2 cups whole pecans
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • parchment paper


  • Combine the sugars, pecans, buttermilk, butter, and salt into a large, heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir gently but consistently until the sugar dissolves. 
  • Cover and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes to wash down the sugar crystals from the sides.
  • Uncover and, stirring constantly, to 234 degrees on a candy thermometer. This is called the soft ball stage.
  • Immediately remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture begins to thicken. 
  • Working quickly, drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper paper. Let stand until firm.


This recipe should not be doubled. The mixture will cool too fast to get them onto the wax paper properly.
A wooden spoon is preferable in this recipe because it does not transfer heat. 
If the candy stiffens before you’re done dropping the spoonfuls, add a spoonful of boiling hot water and stir until it loosens, then continue scooping until you have formed all the pralines.
You can use wax paper, although there may be some transference (I have never had any however).


Calories: 265kcal