Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
I made these magical treats over the holidays for my family. It had been a long time since I had eaten a chewy pecan praline, and I'd forgotten how amazing they were. I used to get them periodically when visiting this one particular Mexican restaurant in our small city when I was a child. After dinner, we would go up to the counter to pay for our meal, and I was just the right height to see into the glass cabinet underneath the countertop.
The cabinet contained tons of delicacies, including both the crunchy and the chewy pecan pralines. I always switched off what kind I got because they both had their own amazing qualities. The crunchy ones would break off into your mouth and then melt like butter, leaving only the candied pecans behind to eat. Yum! But the chewy ones made you work through gooey, sweet stickiness to get to the pecan prize in the middle.
After making a batch of these with my son, we popped them into the freezer to cool and harden. But I had to sneak one before going to Christmas dinner with them the next day. Oh, my gosh! These have to be the most amazing little treats I've ever eaten. They taste so rich and decadent, but thankfully I don't have to worry about the health content. I made mine with tons of delicious honey, raw pecans, and shredded unsweetened coconut.
Not only do you feel like you're indulging in something you should have to hide somewhere to eat, and cash in your whole diet, but they're actually very good for you! I still felt like I should have been hiding, though—they were just that good! Let me show you how to easily and quickly make them yourself so you can indulge along with me.
|Prep time||Ready in||Yields|
About 40 cookies
- 2 1/2 cups coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1/2 cup real butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups pecans
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
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- In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine your coconut sugar, half and half, honey, and butter. Stir until melted.
- Bring it all to a full rolling boil, and then continue stirring for three minutes while boiling.
- Remove from the heat and add your vanilla extract, shredded coconut and pecans. Stir until combined.
- Line several large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Drop 2 tablespoon-sized dollops onto your lined cookie sheets evenly spaced. They will be super sticky and are about to get even stickier. You don't want to have to pry them from each other.
- Allow to cool a bit on the counter, and then slide into the freezer, one at a time if need be.
- Once chilled, cut the cookies out of the parchment paper, giving each it's own square. I promise, you'll want them to have something to stick to so they are easily separated when you're ready to eat one.
- Store in a covered Tupperware container in the freezer, stacked so only parchment paper is touching another cookie, until ready to eat them.
- Try not to eat them all at one time.
My goal with all of the recipes I make is to find a healthy way to make them with real, natural, wholesome ingredients. Then, regardless of what you are eating, you can rest assured that what you are putting into your body, and those of your family members big and small is nutritious and good for them. We don't have any bad foods in this house; I just encourage eating from all of the food groups.
Typically, pecan pralines would be nothing but sugar—lots and lots of refined sugar. Then it would be combined with condensed or evaporated milk (more refined sugar) and pecans to make the crunchy pralines you're used to. I didn't see any reason why I couldn't have the pecan pralines I loved without all of the gross ingredients. And my husband is insistent on me keeping the same look and texture of the traditional items.
So, raw honey and half & half it is! However, if you'd rather not use honey, you can substitute coconut oil instead, but they won't be quite as sweet. You can also substitute out the shredded coconut for coconut butter, or omit it altogether. If you want them to be non-dairy, coconut cream is even more delicious than half and half, but I'm partial to my dairy products.
Don't fear truly making these your own if you wish, but most of all, don't fear trying to make them yourself. I strive to show you how it really is and even picture all of the "help" that I get from my two kids while I'm making all of my recipes. These can be made with little to no ingredients, in a messy kitchen, with less than adequate cooking items, with two small kids pulling on you, crying, sticking their hands in your food, or even deciding to get on a chair and help you out. Everyone may need a bath afterward, but where's the fun if you don't?!
Good luck and have fun! Want more delicious pecan goodness? Give my Clean Eating Pecan Pie a shot. You won't even miss the Caro syrup!
© 2019 Victoria Van Ness