Chocolate-Topped Pralines

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 15 min (includes cooling times)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 24 pralines
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Special equipment:
a candy thermometer; a tablespoon-sized cookie scooper
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and have a tablespoon-sized cookie scooper ready.
  2. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, butter and baking soda to a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally, until the sugars are dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pot and continue to cook until the mixture reaches between 235 to 240 degrees F. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Add the pecans, vanilla and salt and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the candy begins to dull and the mixture starts to thicken, about 4 minutes. Working quickly, drop heaping tablespoon-sized mounds with the cookie scooper onto the prepared baking sheet (see Cook's Note). Cool completely until set and the pralines have reached room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the chocolate chips to a heat-resistant metal or glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water and stir until completely melted. Remove bowl from the heat. Using a spoon, add a dollop of chocolate on the top of each of the praline mounds and use the back of the spoon to spread slightly and create a swirl in the chocolate. Sprinkle with the flaked sea salt, if using. Let cool completely until set (see Cook's Note). Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator with wax paper between the layers of pralines.

Cook’s Note

If the mixture gets too hard and is too difficult to scoop, place the pot back over a warm burner and stir to loosen. If necessary, you can add 1 tablespoon of hot water and stir to loosen as well. Depending on how cool your room temperature is, this could take anywhere from 1 to 5 hours to set up. If the room temperature is too warm, you can set the chocolate in the refrigerator.

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