1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed, light brown sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 cups whole pecan halves
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
NOTE: Chocolate chips should be chilled.
Assemble all the ingredients and utensils before starting to cook. (Measure out the chocolate chips and keep them refrigerated until just before needed.) You will need a large, heavy-bottomed aluminum pot or skillet with deep sides, a long-handled metal whisk or spoon, 2 large spoons (or an ice cream scoop with a manual release) and a very lightly greased cookie sheet.
Melt the butter in the pot over high heat; add the sugars, milk, cream and chopped pecans. cook 5 minutes, whiskingconstantly. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking and whisking 10 minutes. Add the pecan halves and continue whisking and cooking until done, about 8 to 10 minutes. (If the mixture smokes excessively toward end of cooking time, lower the heat). Stir in vanilla. then immediately drop about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips into about one-sixth of the batter. Stir quickly and just enough to cover some of the chips with batter but not enough to allow the chips to melt.
Quickly drop the chocolate mixture onto the cookie sheet by heaping spoonfuls, using the second spoon to push the batter off the first (or use ice cream scoop); each praline should be about 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with remaining mixture, stirring briefly before adding more chocolate chips.
The cooled pralines should be light brown, opaque,somewhat chunky and crumbly.
Tip: To clean the pot and utensils, boil water in the pot with the utensils in it. This will melt the batter off.