(c) 2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Chocolate Pralines combine the crumbly, nutty taste of classic pralines with rich semi-sweet chocolate.
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided use
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Remove 3 tablespoons from the Â½ cup of chocolate chips and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine both sugars, the cream, the butter, and the salt over medium heat. Stir until the sugars and butter dissolve. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, and insert a candy thermometer.
3. Continue to cook without stirring until the thermometer reaches 240 degrees. Once the proper temperature is reached, remove the candy from the heat, take out the thermometer, and immediately add the pecans and the remaining 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.
4. Begin to stir the candy vigorously. The chocolate will melt and the candy will start to get lighter in color and more opaque. Continue to stir until the candy starts to hold its shape. It should still be easy to stir, however. It is important not to stir too much, as pralines quickly go from fluid to rock-solid. Once it is a lighter, opaque brown and holds its shape, quickly begin to drop small spoonfuls of the candy onto the prepared baking sheet.
5. Work quickly to form the candies, as the pralines will start to set in the saucepan. If the candy stiffens before youâ€™re done scooping, add a spoonful of very hot water and stir until it loosens, then continue scooping until you have formed all the pralines.
6. Place the reserved 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave them until melted, about 40 seconds. Scrape the melted chocolate into a small Ziploc bag and cut off the corner. Drizzle melted chocolate over the pralines in a decorative pattern.
7. Place the pralines in the refrigerator to set the chocolate, about 15 minutes. Store Chocolate Pralines in an airtight container at room temperature.
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