Jumbo Cashew Pralines
The holiday season is upon us and with it come the many occasions we all need a little something to gift to acquaintances. Whether it’s for our kid’s teachers, our gardeners and helpers around the home, postal service men and women, etc. - I’m always looking for cute ways to say thank you this holiday season. And to me, the best way to say thank you is with a homemade treat, like these Jumbo Cashew Pralines that take 20 minutes to make and are a quick gift idea to whip up this season.
These Colossal Cashews from Hickory Farms are so satisfying on their own, but when stirred into a sweet, luscious blend of cream, butter, and sugars, they become the ultimate candy. You might think pralines are tough to make, but they couldn’t be easier. The only special tool you need - you might already have: a candy thermometer. Because you have to monitor the heat of the mixture, it’s best to use one. They go for under $10 at your local grocery or craft store and are a great investment during the holidays because I’m sure you will become addicted to making pralines. Another great thing about this recipe is you can adapt it to your liking and use any of your favorite nut or a combination of them: pecans, walnuts, almonds, or even hazelnuts would be sublime in this recipe!
One of the easiest and best thing about ordering Hickory Farms Colossal Cashews is that you get whole nuts, unlike other brands that you mostly get crushed up nuts instead of whole. Using whole nuts in this recipe provides a better overall texture and look for the candies - Hickory Farms is my go to place for nuts and dried fruits of any kind.
Cashews are my favorite nut and work so well in this recipe, so I urge you to first try it as it is. The Hickory Farms Colossal Cashews add incredible richness to the candies, and I’m sure you won’t be able to just have one! To gift, place in an airtight tin or container, layered with wax paper and tie a ribbon around it - it’s that easy. Happy eating!
Jumbo Cashew Pralines
Makes 3 dozen pralines
Preparation time: 20 minutes
1 1/4 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Hickory Farms Colossal Cashews, roughly chopped
- Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter and sugars together. Once melted, add the half and half, vanilla, and cashews. Cook over medium high heat and monitoring with a candy thermometer until it reaches 240F, stirring with a wooden spoon at all times.
- At 240F, remove from heat and beat with wooden spoon, introducing air to crystalize the mixture. You’ll notice the sugars start to scrape the sides of the pan - this is when you start dropping tablespoon measures onto the parchment lined baking sheets.
- Let set for 30 minutes before consuming or packaging. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Marnely Murray is an established chef with an extensive culinary background, as well as a friend of Hickory Farms. Marnely brings masterfully created recipes using her favorite Hickory Farms products. Marnely has a special knack for turning every dish into a masterpiece.