Remember the pecan logs that you ate as a kid? Chewy nougat, covered in creamy caramel, and rolled buttery, toasted pecans. Now you can have them as an adult in a small bite-sized treat. These Pecan Log Truffles are just what you need for your holiday party!
This post for #Choctoberfest 2018 is sponsored by Imperial Sugar. The recipe and opinions expressed here are my own!
Pecan Log Recipe
Be honest with me, how many pecan logs did you eat while you were growing up? I can say that I have had more than my age in years as of this publish date of this post. Maybe a few more…
Chewy nougat, creamy caramel, and those delicious pecans. I can’t tell you how I still dream about them!
I LOVED them as a kid. When we would take road trips to see family in Florida, we would stop at the road-side restaurants like Stuckey’s or Ho-Jo’s, grab a pecan log and a soda for the rest of the ride, and maybe grab a bag of oranges or two at the fruit stand next store. I have always wanted to make them from scratch, not that I need to eat any more of them, so I decided to make small ones.
Pecan Log Truffles are portion control at it’s finest!
Just take me to the PECAN LOG TRUFFLES Recipe Already!
If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, I think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this delicious easy PECAN LOG TRUFFLES recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
What is Nougat?
When making pecan logs or pecan log truffles for this recipe, you may think the star is the caramel or even the pecans. But you are wrong. The star is the nougat!
Traditional nougat, such as white nougat, is made from egg whites, sugar, honey, and nuts. Nougat is enjoyed on its own as it contains the nuts already, but the nougat for these pecan log truffles is more like the nougat in a candy bar, and slightly fluffier. I leave out the egg white and the nuts (hello, we have pecans on the outside) and just go with the sugar parts. A little milk powder is substituted for cream and sometimes gelatin is used for volume. Not in this recipe though!
The nougat for the pecan log truffles is a boiled mixture of sugars (granulated and powdered), corn syrup, milk powder, and butter. Boiled and then cooled, it forms a fluffy, fudge-like consistency that is chewy and sweet! Perfect for rolling in caramel and pecans!
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Pecan Roll Recipe
The nougat is the center of the pecan roll recipe and also the star of these pecan log truffles, but this is a pecan log truffle recipe so let’s get to the pecan part! Not putting the pecans inside the truffles, like traditional nougat, means we need to have something on the outside for them to stick to. Enter the creamy caramel.
Feel free to make your own caramel at home, caramel candy not caramel sauce that doesn’t harden. Here is a recipe for making homemade caramels in the microwave, but feel free to use the packaged caramels that you would use to coat your apples at Halloween time. Just unwrap them, add a few tablespoons of water, and melt in the microwave until smooth.
Now comes the fun part…
FAQ about Pecan Log Truffles:
- Q: Can I make these ahead of time?
A: You can make these up to 5 days ahead of time but be wary of humidity and temperature. If it’s too humid then the caramel will be sticky and if it’s too hot the caramel will melt off the candy.
- Q: Can I use store-bought caramels?
A: Yes you can! Just make sure you unwrap them before you start to melt them.
- Q: Can I use another nut besides pecans?
A: I don’t see why not, but you might have to call them something else besides, pecan log truffles – LOL!
- Q: Can I make these into the logs if I don’t want the small balls?
A: Of course you can!!!
Get prepared as the caramel and pecan steps go fast! I chose a few different ways to add the caramel and pecans to the nougat centers because I started with one and got a little impatient so I came up with two other ways to do it.
First I started completely rolling the nougat in the melted caramel. After I did that it was too sticky to roll in the pecans (it kept sliding off as it was too fluid) so I put on the baking sheet to cool a bit. But picking them back up before the caramel set proved to be sticky too. This is the traditional covering for the pecan logs but you are not required do this one!
After that disaster, I decided to try drizzling the caramel on the nougat but it was not pretty so I scrapped that one quick and decided to dip the nougat balls in the caramel and place or sprinkle the pecans on top of them. Your fingers don’t get covered in hot sticky caramel and I think they look way more sophisticated this way!
You can sprinkle chopped pecans on top or you can add a pecan half to the top. Either way, this is easier to get the caramel and pecans on the pecan log truffles!
Tips for making Pecan Log Truffles:
- Grease your pan with butter and not non-stick spray. It clings better and doesn’t leave a residue on the nougat.
- Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to line your baking sheet.
- I like to use an ice cream scooper to make all my nougat balls uniform in shape and keep my hands cleaner.
- Breaking up the steps over a two days makes it easier and gives you time to clean up in between.
- Use store-bought caramels to make things simpler.
- Double dip your nougat balls. Dip in the caramel once and hold it above the caramel for 5 seconds and then dip again. This will give you a thicker caramel coating!
- Toast your pecans before using them as they taste better that way! TRUST ME ON THIS ONE!
- The caramel sets quickly on the nougat so only dip 4 at a time.
- Sprinkle or roll the truffles with pecans soon after you add caramel or they caramel will set and the pecans won’t stick.
- If it’s humid outside, the caramel will stay a little sticky so you might want to roll them completely in the pecans.
- If it’s too hot, the caramel will slide off the nougat, so keep them cool or chilled.
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Easy PECAN LOG TRUFFLES Recipe
Chewy nougat, covered in creamy caramel, and rolled buttery, toasted pecans. These Pecan Log Truffles are just what you need for your holiday party!
1/2 cup butter (softened)
3 + 3/4 cups powdered sugar (I use Imperial Sugar)
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup sugar (granulated)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter (for greasing pan)
1 package 14 ounces caramels (unwrapped)
2 tablespoons water
2 cups toasted pecans (chopped or halves)
Prepare your dish
Butter your pan generously and set aside.
Cook the nougat
In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar and milk powder.
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the butter, granulated sugar, and corn syrup.
Over medium heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved and comes to a boil.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, slowly stir in the powdered sugar and milk powder mixture.
Continue to stir until the mixture comes together and pulls away from the side and starts to stick together like a thick paste.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour into your prepared pan and let cool just a bit. You don’t want to let it cool completely or you won’t be able to shape it.
Once the nougat has cooled enough to touch, place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and scoop your nougat into 1/2 inch-sized balls.
Scoop out all the nougat into balls and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
With lightly greased hands, roll each ball into a smooth ball.
Cover the pan with foil or plastic to keep them from drying out while you prepare the caramel.
Prepare the caramel coating
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and 2 tablespoons of water.
Microwave at 30-second intervals until melted.
Stir to completely combine the water and caramels until they are smooth.
Dip the nougat truffles
Either dip the nougat balls in the caramel and let the excess drain off.
Place them on the parchment-lined sheet and let cool for 1 minute.
Roll or sprinkle with chopped pecans.
Store the Pecan Log Truffles
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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Keywords: pecan, nougat, candy, pecan log, holidays
I have been using Imperial Sugar for a few years now and love it! The Imperial Sugar Company is the one of the oldest continuously operating companies in the State of Texas and was founded by one of the original 100 families brought to the state by Stephen F. Austin.
For 175 years, Imperial Sugar has been a trusted name in family kitchens all across the south. Sweet things happen when people come together in the kitchen, and that’s why Imperial Sugar has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations for generations. We’re the secret ingredient in family-favorite recipes handed down from one generation to another. Home cooks know that when you bake with love and Imperial Sugar, that’s when memories are made.
Imperial Sugar provides high-quality sugar and sweetener products and over 100 years of time-tested recipes. Our family of products includes granulated sugar, light and dark brown sugar, free-flowing sugar, powdered sugar, sugar shakers and Steviacane® (Stevia + sugar blend). Imperial Sugar products are 100% pure cane sugar, non-GMO and provide consistently delicious results.
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This recipe is inspired by this one.