Peanut Pralines

American Classics

Lost classic desserts from our wide and varied past.

Peanut Pralines

[Photograph: Pam Parrella]

These pralines are similar in taste and texture to the outside of a Payday bar and, best of all, they're super simple to make. The original recipe is adapted from The Boston Cooking-School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics, Volume XIII (1908) which instructs: "Mixed nuts may be used, but peanuts alone, with only brown sugar, make a better confection than one would think, although it does no harm to use part white and part brown, or some maple sugar."

About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered children's book editor by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie and a Midtown Lunch contributor. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.

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  • Yield:serves 6
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup salted or lightly salted roasted peanuts

Directions

  1. 1.

    Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat and set aside. In a small saucepan add brown sugar. Use your hands to break up any clumps. Drizzle 1/4 cups of water over sugar and swirl around pan to moisten the sugar. Stir to dissolve completely.

  2. 2.

    Heat sugar over medium high, swirling the pan occasionally to ensure even heating. Sugar will begin to bubble vigorously. Continue heating and swirling until mixture reaches 230°F as measured on a candy or instant read thermometer. Remove from heat and quickly add peanuts, stir to coat then immediately then drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared pan, spacing pralines 2 inches apart. Let cool for 30 minutes then serve. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.