New Orleans Bacon Pralines
Yield: 18 to 24 pieces.
- 1 pound thick cut bacon
- 3 tablespoons + 2 cups light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons +2 tablespoons butter cut into 1/2 –inch cubes
- 1 ¼ cups pecans, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- Tools needed: candy thermometer
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy foil. Place a baking rack over the lined sheet pan and arrange bacon slices across the rack next to each other, not overlapping. Bake until crispy, about 15 to 18 minutes. When cool enough to handle, finely chop and set aside.
- Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees F.
- In a small sauce pan over moderate heat melt 3 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons of sugar, about 1 minutes. Add chopped pecans and combine until pecans are coated. Pour out onto a sheet pan and cook in oven until golden brown about 10 minutes. Let cool.
- Place remaining sugar into a 3-quart heavy saucepan, being careful not to get sugar on side of pan. Add cream, remaining butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook over very low heat, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula and washing down any sugar crystals on side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until sugar is dissolved (do not let simmer), 10 to 15 minutes. Clamp on candy thermometer to saucepan and boil syrup over moderately high heat, until it registers 236°F .
- Remove pan from heat, leaving thermometer in place, and let cool, until syrup registers 220°F, about 1 to 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula stir in bacon and pecans. Working quickly using a tablespoon drop one tablespoon of pralines onto a parchment lined baking sheet. If mixture starts to harden place back on stove over moderately low heat and let melt.
- Let pralines sit until they harden, about 45 minutes.