June 24 is National Pralines Day. Even though pralines were originally created in France, they are also enjoyed in the United States and Canada. Pralines are made by coating almonds in caramelized sugar. Pralines were named after a French soldier and sugar industrialist, Marshal du Plessis-Praslin because it was his cook who invented it.
The praline recipe evolved when French settlers brought the recipe to Louisiana where both sugar cane and pecan trees were plentiful. Chefs in New Orleans eventually substituted pecans for almonds and added cream. Today, pralines come in many flavors and include several different types of nuts.
Praline is sugar candy made from nuts and sugar syrup, whether in whole pieces or a ground powder, or, alternatively, a chocolate cookie containing the ground powder or nuts. Belgian pralines are often called Belgian chocolate. They are different because they consist of a hard chocolate shell with a softer, sometimes liquid, filling. French pralines are a combination of almonds and caramelized sugar. American pralines also contain milk or cream and are therefore softer and creamier and resemble fudge.
Pralines have a creamy consistency, similar to fudge. Like fudge, pralines are easy to make. It is usually made by combining brown sugar, butter, and cream or buttermilk in a pot on medium-high heat, and stirring constantly, until most of the water has evaporated and it has reached a thick texture with a brown color. Then it is dropped by spoonfuls onto wax paper or a sheet of aluminum foil greased with butter, and left to cool.
Have some pralines on National Pralines Day. Pralines and cream are a popular ice cream flavor in the United States and Canada. So, if pralines aren't available to you, simply have some praline ice cream so you can help celebrate National Praline Day.