Steps for making a simple pecan candy recipe include prepping the equipment, making the caramel and coating the pecans. Some recipes also require a preheated oven for baking the pecans before coating them.
Southern Living's recipe for Pecan Pralines involves three major steps. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread 2 cups pecan halves and pieces across a shallow pan, and bake for eight to 10 minutes or until toasted. Allow the pecans to cool completely.
The second step is to make the candy coating. Combine 3 cups light brown sugar, 1 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup butter and 2 tablespoons light corn syrup in a Dutch oven. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture reaches a boil. Boil for six to eight minutes, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer reads 236 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat.
For the final step, let the sugar mixture stand until it cools to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir in the pecans and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, using a wooden spoon. Stir constantly until the mixture is no longer glossy, then drop onto wax paper and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
Martha Stewart's recipe for Pecan Pralines omits the corn syrup and does not require the pecans to be toasted. Taste of Home's recipe for Southern Pecan Candy calls for the sugar to be melted on its own before being added to the cream.