All I Want for Christmas is Buttermilk Pralines

December 1, 2012 | By | Comments (7)

pecan pralines m All I Want for Christmas is Buttermilk PralinesOver the past weeks, we’ve asked readers to send in recipe wishes. Each day until Christmas eve, we’ll  be granting those requests.

Alice Hatfield of Austin, Texas, writes, “My great-aunt Alice made melt-in-your-mouth buttermilk pecan pralines.  You ate them until you felt ill!  I’d like to recreate them for my own children.” We love pralines, too, and the mild tang of buttermilk in this recipe gives these even more depth of flavor.  We hope ours live up to your memories, Alice.

Buttermilk Pralines
makes 2 dozen
hands-on time 20 minutes  total time 45 min.

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Stir together buttermilk and baking soda in a large heavy saucepan until blended. Add brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup.

2. Cook over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 234° (soft ball stage). Cool 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Beat with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in pecans and vanilla extract. Working rapidly, drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased wax paper. Let stand until firm (15 minutes).

Send Us Your Wish

 wish list m1 All I Want for Christmas is Buttermilk PralinesOur Test Kitchen is granting recipe-related wishes every day through Christmas Eve! Just follow this link to submit your wish.


  1. Ms Allen

    I had the exact outcome as Joy did above! They never sat up and looked like syrup over pecans. Definitely brought them to the soft ball stage too. They were also much darker than the photo. I question the baking soda at the end as well.
    Very disappointed.

    December 23, 2015 at 10:15 pm
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  3. Karen

    I couldn’t get the recipe to work either. I’m really questioning the addition of the baking soda in the beginning.

    January 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm
  4. gerry

    I don’t think this recipe was tested. The soda should be added at the end with the vanilla. Boiling it with the buttermilk cancels out the action intended to lighten the finished product.

    January 2, 2015 at 6:33 pm
  5. Donna Florio

    I’m wondering whether your thermometer was a little off? Sounds like maybe the mixture hadn’t cooked enough. Or did you by any chance use diet margarine? some of those have a lot of water in the formula, and that may have thrown things off. If you used fat-free buttermilk that also could have caused problems.

    December 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm
  6. Joy

    What did I do wrong? Doubled the recipe…would not set up….more like thick syrup over pecans.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm
  7. Susan A Johannes

    Haven’t had these since I was in New Orleans! So yummie~ wish I was there now!! 🙂

    December 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm

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