Southern Sour-Cream Pralines
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 5 ounces pecan halves (1 1/3 cups), toasted
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in granulated and brown sugars, salt, and sour cream. Raise heat to medium-low, and cook, whisking frequently, until sugar has dissolved. Raise heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping sides of pan with a spatula, until mixture reaches the soft-ball stage (240 degrees), 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat. Carefully stir in bourbon and vanilla (mixture will steam and bubble). Let cool, without stirring, for 2 minutes. Add pecans, and beat vigorously with a spoon until slightly opaque but still creamy, about 2 minutes.
Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet. (If mixture in pan begins to harden, stir in 1 teaspoon hot water, as often as needed; if it becomes runny, stir until firm.) Let stand until set, about 30 minutes.