Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pistachio Pralines

I have been thinking about nut brittles ever since Halloween, when I thought about making some for our party, so I was thrilled to see a whole article about pralines in Martha Stewart Living this month! The pistachio praline/ brittle looks gorgeous and tastes even better! I am making a big batch to give away at Thanksgiving dinner. These are Martha's instructions, but I made some changes when I tried the recipe: I used a silpat to line my pan, and then I inverted the pralines onto parchment before I cut them. Also, I cannot stress enough how fast you have to work once you remove the sugar from the heat. My first batch came out very clumpy (but still tasty) because I took too much time pouring it.

Vegetable oil
2 C sugar
1/4 C water
2 C finely chopped pistachios
1/2 tsp coarse salt

Lightly coat a 13x9 inch baking sheet with oil. Line with parchment, allowing 2 inches to hang over the long sides.* Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, tilting pan to swirl, and washing down the sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Boil, without stirring, until mixture turns medium amber, 10-12 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the pistachios and salt. Pour mixture onto the baking sheet and quickly spread evenly with a spatula. Let cool until just set but still soft, about 2 minutes. Using the parchment as handles, transfer the warm praline to a cutting board. Immediately cut into bars of desired size using a serrated knife lightly coated in oil. Let cool completely. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

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