With the holidays coming, these Gluten Free Creamy Pecan Pralines are the perfect thing to make as gifts for your friends and family.  I intend to include them in my Christmas Cookie Box this year and they are my new Hostess gift.  Put it in an adorable holiday appropriate box with colorful tissue and a ribbon and they will not only look good, they taste fabulous.

Can you believe I’ve never tried these before?

The amazing thing for me is that in my 20+ career as a pastry chef, I have ‘never’ made these.  But, I wanted them to top my layered Gluten Free Pumpkin Pecan Praline Cheesecake.  Individual pecan pralines seemed to be the perfect decoration.  Now, if I was smart, I would have contacted my youngest son, who did a stint at a candy shop in a tourist location, who made hundreds of pounds of these things.  But, no.  I decided to venture off on my own.

The funny thing about some recipes you find in cookbooks and on the internet is that sometimes they just don’t work.  For example, I have one cookbook from a very famous chef in the industry and I have yet to find one recipe that works without some tweaking or there is some critical piece of information left out of the recipe and you’re left wondering, where you went wrong when, in fact, it wasn’t you.   Is it they truly want to keep all the secrets for themselves?

So, what are the critical pieces of information you need to know? 

So, I did a little research and found 3 or 4 recipes that all seemed similar and decided how I wanted to proceed.  Well, it looked good for a minute, but apparently, one critical piece of information you need to be successful, is the temperature.  Not the one to boil the whole mixture to – 238F.   That one is pretty clear since 234 to 240F is the soft ball stage, perfect for this candy confection.  It’s the temperature you need to reach before you add the pecans and flavoring.  Well, my son shared this secret – 90 degrees F.

And then, of course, you truly can’t dawdle here.  You need to quickly and safely dip out each praline and be finished before 8 to 10 minutes goes by.  The longer it goes, the more chance that the whole mess will crystallize.

But, when they are done, OMG they A.R.E. fabulous.  I thought because they are so sweet that you truly couldn’t eat more than one, but they are kind of addicting.  Might want to plan for a nap for when you come off of the sugar high.

Buon Appetito!

Gluten Free Creamy Pecan Pralines



  • 1 and 1/2 cups (11.25 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon (1/2 ounce) light corn syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon (1/2 ounce) butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) whole pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a heavy-bottomed sauce-pot, combine brown sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup and butter.
  2. Over medium heat, gently stirring just until butter is melted, heat mixture to 238 – 240 degrees F. You’ll need a candy thermometer for this.
  3. Remove from the heat and let mixture cool to 90 degrees F. This will take about an hour.
  4. Add pecans and vanilla and gently stir to combine.
  5. Dip each praline out of the sauce-pot onto a silpat, non-stick foil or oiled foil. Work quickly. This part of the process shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes or the mixture may crystallize.
  6. Let sit until completely cool.
  7. Store in sealed container with parchment layered between the candies. Store at room temperature for up to a week.


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