My mother’s secret pralines: turn ordinary pecans into… magic


I have the secret!

But you have to swear you won’t tell.  These are my mother’s top-secret recipe, which was my grandmother’s top-secret recipe before that… which may not not really be all that secret after all.

I wish I had a great picture to show you, but believe me, these turn out looking beautiful.  Every time I make them, they go so quickly that there’s no chance to take a picture.

So now, like me, you can make Pralined Pecans (or pralined almonds, as I did during Pesach) any day… or any night! Anytime, really. They are super super easy. And they always turn out well, despite my occasional neglect – crystally and nice and nostalgic.

Ready? Here goes!

Three Magical Ingredients!

  • 1/2 lb whole pecans [about 2 cups] - I don't know what she means by WHOLE pecans - I use raw (unroasted, unsalted) pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup water [or sherry, my mother says]
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Four Magical Steps!

  1. Combine liquid and sugar; heat to melt sugar and until it gently boils
  2. Add pecans, stirring constantly until liquid becomes crystallized and coats the nuts. Use low heat because they can burn.  Watch them carefully!
  3. Spread nuts on a tray to cool. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
  4. Enjoy.

Really! She typed in “enjoy.” It is an instruction. You must do it for these to succeed.


  • Make them with almonds for Pesach
  • Add them to pareve coffee ice cream (see below) for a delicious unexpected crunch
  • Sprinkle over brownies or other desserts for extra yumminess
  • Sprinkle over veggie dishes where a little sweetness is a Very Good Thing, like on top of squash kugel or mashed sweet potatoes.

Pareve Coffee “Ice Cream” (for Pesach or year-round)

What you’ll need:

  • About 1 cup non-dairy whippable topping
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Vanilla sugar, to taste (during the year, use real vanilla)
  • 1 tbsp kosher l’pesach instant coffee
  • ½ cup Mommy’s Pralines – pecan (see above; can use almonds instead)

How to make it:

  1. Whip egg whites with ½ cup or less of sugar & vanilla sugar. Set aside
  2. Whip topping with coffee until thick
  3. Stir together gently
  4. Add pralines, stir gently to mix
  5. Freeze in container until 10 minutes before serving

If you try it and love it, let me know in the Comments!

[pecan photo credit © Judy Baxter/U.S. Department of Agriculture via Wikimedia]

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


Know what else you're gonna love?

Baking in Israel? Beware of FAKE condensed milk

Super-Easy Thick, Spreadable, Bakeable DIY Cream Cheese in Israel

Easy, tender, and affordable roast in Israel… yes, it IS possible!

More delicious kosher morsels!