1 tbsp corn syrup
1 lb granulated sugar
1 orange, zested (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
kosher salt, optional
Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In a very large saucepan combine the cream, corn syrup, sugar, and orange zest (if using). Cook over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to let mixture boil over as mixture is very frothy. As the mixture cooks down and starts to thicken, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
At this point you want to stir the mixture constantly. Mixture will eventually turn golden brown and become thick and bubbly. When the mixture reaches 240 degrees add the pecans and stir constantly. Be sure you are stirring all over the pan and be careful not to splash much on the sides. When temperature reaches 248 degrees remove from the heat.
Using two spoons, scoop mixture out onto the parchment-lined pans. Sprinkle with a small sprinkling of kosher salt, if desired.
When completely set (almost a fudge-like texture) pralines may be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.