Monthly Archives: January 2013

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Easing a bad day with buttery pecan pralines

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Happy new year, everyone! Sorry it’s been awhile. I went home to Seattle at the end of December to celebrate the holidays and have been settling back into the swing of things here in Illinois since I arrived back in early January. While at home, I spent a wonderful weekend in Vancouver, British Columbia and will have pictures to share very shortly!

The new year should bring positive tidings, no? The prospect of renewal and a promising blank slate certainly breeds optimism among many. But 2013, so far, has felt a bit trying, mostly thanks to my silly right knee. It was just my luck that the week after I registered for a half marathon in mid-December that my right knee began acting up, grinding and preventing me from going up and downstairs with normal ease. And unfortunately, my knee hasn’t seemed to improve since it originally began snapping, crackling and popping. Last night, my right knee popped more loudly than it ever had before and this morning, I woke up to my knee aching, swollen and warm. Needless to say, I’m incredibly frustrated today.

First thing tomorrow morning, I’m calling an orthopedic doctor to get my knee properly checked out for some peace of mind. But to alleviate my feeling of helplessness and frustration today, I turned to Joy the Baker‘s Cookbook and sought out the most sweet dessert I could find in the book. This cookbook, in the past, has been unfailingly curing on bad days (protip: her molten chocolate cakes stamp out homesickness like nothing else). Today feels like a bad day, but it’s certainly nothing that a ridiculous amount of sugar cannot turn around.

These pecan pralines are not only incredibly buttery and sweet, but also incredibly easy to make. When first sampled, approximately an hour after the pecan praline mix was taken off the stove, these pralines were still soft. No teeth clenching or aching jaws from eating these here (and you can trust that many have already been “sampled”)! I’m thinking that these would hold up well in the mail and make for good birthday or holiday dessert packages.

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Pecan pralines from Joy the Baker Cookbook

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups pecans, halved
3 tbsps unsalted butter

Prepare a cooling surface for the pralines by lining two or three baking sheets with parchment paper. Set these aside. In a saucepan on the stove set at medium heat, mix together brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and heavy cream. Bring mixture to a boil while stirring frequently. Once boiling, lower the heat to a low-medium setting and stir until mixture is bubbling slightly and thoroughly mixed. Add butter and pecans and stir until butter has completely melted. Leave mixture to simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, take your saucepan off the heat and let the mixture to cool for 15 minutes before spooning tablespoon-sized pralines onto your baking sheets. Allow pralines to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from baking sheets. Makes approximately 30 pecan pralines.

May your 2013 be off to a wonderful start!