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 also need a large, heavy-bottomed stainless steel 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 for 5 minutes, whisking constantly.
Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking and whisking for 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
Stir in vanilla extract and 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 spoonsful,
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
The cooled pralines should be light brown, opaque, somewhat chunky and crumbly.