Today is National Pralines Day. Pralines are something the folks of Louisiana know a little bit about.

The praline may have been born in Europe, not New Orleans, by cook Marshal du Plessis-Praslin. Before pralines hit the U.S. they were coated in caramelized sugar, unlike the thick rich deep brown creamy goodness they've become today. In Europe, cooks used almonds and hazelnuts. Today, most praline connoisseurs prefer pecans.

This pecan praline recipe will knock your socks off. Of course, there will be many southerners who will say, "Bless her heart" as they alter this recipe to add their own touch.

Here's a recipe for pecan pralines from Treva Chadwell, freelance recipe tester and food stylist at Food Network. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, that's southern enough, right?

According to the Cooking Channel, you'll need the following:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Prepare the baking sheets by lining with was paper or foil. For this recipe, you'll need two baking sheets.
  2. Using a medium saucepan (medium heat), combine the buttermilk and baking soda until foamy. Then, add sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to boil. Cook until the mixture becomes dark and thick. This will demand patience and strength.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in pecans, butter and vanilla extract.
  4. Continuously stir the mixture until thickens and becomes lighter.

This part is tricky, you must be quick...use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture. Place small portions on the baking sheets. Allow about 20 minutes to cool (or until room temperature) before serving.