Southern Sour-Cream Pralines

southern sour cream praline pecan candies
1 dozen 2-inch pralines

Sour cream is the secret behind the unusually smooth texture of these Southern pralines.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 tablespoon bourbon

  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 5 ounces pecan halves (1 ⅓ cups), toasted


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Cook's Notes

Pralines can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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