I was in my glory today, albeit a little stressed. This was the first time I
have tried this recipe from my friend Ruthann. She is a field editor for
Taste of Home and raves about these pecan delights which she has been
making for years. I consulted her constantly via telephone.
Real butter, brown sugar and corn syrup is the first step.
I think it is imperative to use a candy thermometer although
I had a cup of ice water on the side to double check the firm-ball stage.
Once the caramel is cooked to the perfect degree, the pecans are
added and mixed in. I prefer more nuts than caramel so I
was very generous.
I used two spoons to make the mounds; one spoon to scoop up and
the other to scrape off. My small cookie dipper also worked well.
They came in all sizes when all was dipped and done.
After the candy is cool and set, I flip them over to coat the bottom
with chocolate. Dipping wafers are my choice for chocolate coating.
When the chocolate layer on the bottom is set and dry, I use a spoon
to swirl a thin coating of chocolate on the tops.
These will arrive in a box to the grandchildren in NY and IN.
I may have to put them into seclusion so there will be enough left to share.
2 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter, cubed
1 cup light corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, syrup and salt. Cook
over medium heat until all sugar is dissolved.
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
Gradually add milk; mix well. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until
a candy thermometer reads 248° (firm-ball stage)
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ lbs. pecan halves ( about 5 cups)
Remove from heat; stir in vanilla until blended. Fold in the pecans.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheets.
Chill until firm.
2½ cups chocolate dipping wafers
Melt wafers in microwave-safe bowl on low power.
Using a spoon, spread cluster bottoms with chocolate; allow to firm up
and dry. Swirl chocolate over tops of clusters; let set until dry.
Store in air tight container in a cool place.