3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups pecan pieces
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels, chilled
Assemble all ingredients and utensils before starting to cook. You will need a large, heavy-bottomed skillet with deep sides, a long-handled metal whisk or spoon, 2 large spoons and a baking sheet coated with non-stick vegetable spray.
In skillet, melt butter over high heat, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add sugars and pecans. Cook about 4 1/2 minutes, stirring frequently, until pecans are roasted. Stir in cream and milk.
Cook, stirring constantly, about 8 minutes, or until small bubbles form around edges of skillet and mixture is dark brown. Stir in orange peel and cook, stirring constantly, about 4 more minutes, or until distinct threads form around edges of pan and candy thermometer reads 240 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Immediately, and working quickly, drop a small handful of chocolate morsels onto about a quarter of mixture, stirring quickly and just enough to coat some of chips but not enough to allow chips to melt. Quickly spoon candy onto baking sheet, using second spoon to push candy off other spoon. Repeat until all morsels are used. Let cool.
Cooled pralines should be opaque and somewhat chunky and crumbly. Store at room temperature in airtight container or wrapped individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Yield: about 36
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 12/5/88