We've had gorgeous weather this weekend, and it was lovely to be outside with other folks, just walking, dancin' and enjoying the day. There's usually a lot of grilling and hot dog stands at second lines, but not much in the way of vegan food, except of course, beloved snowballs. New Orleans is famous for our snowballs (snow cones to y'all), and there are usually plenty of snowball trucks set up along the route. My favorite snowball joint is called, Hansen's, and it's an old time shop that serves triple shaved fluffy ice topped with homemade flavors. Along with my favorite rootbeer, coconut and cherry flavors, they even have a vegan one called "ice cream" that's fun to order. This afternoon, I also noticed folks selling trays full of huge pralines, and mini pecan and sweet potato pies for revelers to buy. Here's my vegan version of New Orleans pralines, with a subtle chocolate twist. If you don't have soymilk powder, you can use soy cream instead of the soymilk. You can also use whole pecans instead of chopped, it's just a personal preference.
What You Need:
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached granulated sugar
- 3/4 packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chocolate soymilk
- 1/4 cup instant soymilk powder (optional, but makes them tastier)
- 1/8 tub Earth Balance spread (the same as 1/2 stick soy margarine)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
- Throw everything but the pecans into a medium saucepan and stir well.
- Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the syrup reaches 239F on a candy thermometer.
- Immediately remove from heat and continue whisking.
- As the mixture cools, it will slowly begin to thicken, keep whisking.
- When it becomes cloudy and feels like it is starting to set up, stop whisking and stir in the pecans.
- Quickly drop by tablespoon onto a very well-greased cooking sheet, work fast because they firm up in no time.
- Allow to sit until firm.