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Chef Kevin Belton Mom’s New Orleans Praline Recipe: A Touch of Tradition, Sugar, and Love

Pralines are not just another sweet treat, they are an emotion. They remind me of the heartwarming moments when my mom would be whipping up her special praline recipe. An aroma that could bring all the memories flooding back.

Pralines: An Affair to Remember

Being alone with warm pralines is a dangerous game. The self-control vanishes, and all you want to do is indulge. That’s the magic of a praline. Growing up, I used to eagerly wait for the moment when Mom would surprise us by dropping a handful of chocolate chips into the pralines. Those were special days.

The praline universe has seen a flavor explosion. Today, one can relish chocolate, coconut, peanut butter pralines, and much more. But nothing beats the traditional flavor for me.

Yet, what do you do when you have some leftovers? Simple! Crush them up, sprinkle over ice cream, or top on baked sweet potatoes. And if you’re feeling a tad adventurous, there’s always the Praline Swirl Bread, courtesy of my wife, Monica.

Traditional Pralines Recipe

Makes 24-36 pralines


  • 1 cup light brown sugar (packed tightly)
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped pecans


  1. In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, mix sugars, evaporated milk, vanilla, and butter. Stir continuously over medium heat until completely melted, which should take about 10 minutes.
  2. Incorporate pecans, ensuring they are fully coated. Monitor the temperature. Once it hits approximately 228°F, remove the saucepan from heat.
  3. The temperature will continue to rise, settling around 235-240°F. Stir with a wooden spoon to assist with cooling.
  4. Spoon the mixture onto parchment paper and let it settle into a circular shape. Allow it to cool.


You can enhance the flavors by adding chocolate chips, shredded coconut, or peanut butter.

Monica’s Praline Swirl Bread

Makes 1 medium 1½-pound loaf


  • 1-1½ cup crumbled pralines
  • 1 cup milk (room temperature)
  • 3 tbsp butter (room temperature)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3¼ cup bread flour
  • 2¼ tsp active dry or bread machine yeast


  1. Add all the bread ingredients in the order mentioned above into the bread pan.
  2. Follow the instructions of your bread machine for a basic/white program.
  3. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Spread the crumbled pralines over the surface. Roll the dough into a tight cylinder.
  4. Once the cycle is complete, let the bread cool on a wire rack.

The warmth and love that pralines exude are unparalleled. The next time you have a praline, remember, it’s not just sugar and butter; it’s love!

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