Grease a 24-inch sheet of wax paper. Set it on several thicknesses of newspaper.
Combine all ingredient except the vanilla extract in a heavy saucepan. Bring
to a boil slowly so that the piloncillo melts and continue cooking, stirring constantly,
until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 238 degrees F.
Add vanilla extract, remove the pan from the heat, and continue stirring as the
candy cools. When the mixture becomes creamy and cloudy, and the pecans remain suspended
while stirring, spoon the mixture onto the wax paper. You can make pralines of any
size. Work quickly, before the candy hardens in the pan. The pralines set as they
These are best the day they are made, but they will keep for several days if
tightly covered. Use leftover pralines by crumbling them over ice cream. You can
also pour the praline mixture into a pan and cut it like fudge.