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Going Nuts: How to Make Pecan Clusters


‘Tis the season for giving! The number of names on our holiday gift list keeps growing by the day, and if you’re like us, you may get a little stressed over what to get everyone. Well, we’re going nuts for homemade gifts of the edible variety right now—homemade candies, cookies, and candied nuts are being cranked out of our kitchen left and right because we know our acquaintances and service workers will love them.

Right now, we’re on a kick with Paula’s pecan clusters. They’re so easy to make in big batches, and they’re always a hit! We figured we’d let you in on this go-to holiday goodie recipe to help ease your holiday stress.

You’ll need the following:

  • 1 (7-oz) jar marshmallow cream
  • ¾ lb (kisses) chocolate drop-shaped candies
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 (6-oz) can evaporated milk
  • ½ stick butter
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • Wax paper
  • Parchment paper
  • Gift tins

Now, let’s get started—it couldn’t be simpler! First, spoon the marshmallow cream into a large bowl, then add the kisses. Set the bowl aside for later. Combine the sugar, milk, and butter in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, and cook it for 8 minutes. Pour the liquid mixture over the marshmallow cream and chocolate, stirring until it’s well blended. Stir in the pecans, and drop teaspoon-sized clusters onto wax paper.

Once they’ve cooled, you can store them in an airtight container. We love to put them in pretty holiday tins lined with parchment paper to gift to our friends, family, postal carriers, hair stylists, and just about any one for whom we’d like to show our appreciation.

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.

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