Treat to Try: Pralines from Sheril Ann’s
Sheril Ann’s is a start-up bakery based in Tarlton, Ohio. You can find its wares, carefully packaged at local gourmet grocers such as The Hills Market. Customers can find lots of local baked goods there and Sheril Ann’s offers a solid selection of cookies, bars and candy to choose from. Even with so many choices, it’s hard to imagine that any pick in the house could be better than pralines.
Pralines purchased outside of New Orleans have historically been a consistent disappointment. It doesn’t even seem possible that a candy with such simple ingredients (basically, butter, sugar and pecans) could turn out so many completely wrong ways. But there they are, gooey or tacky or otherwise flawed.
It brings great joy to announce that Sheril Ann’s version of pralines is the real deal. Completely disappointment free, they are sugary, almost flaky rounds that do their job and melt in the mouth. The only thing off about the candy is the fact that it’s pretty. Instead of the traditional shapeless blob, the pralines sit in perfect little circles, bordered in red paper wrappers, wearing pecans as crowns on top. All this prettiness is forgivable, though, when it comes with the flavor and texture of New Orleans.
The ingredient list for the pralines is about as authentic as it gets too: sugar, brown sugar, half & half, salt, butter and pecans. The last component is “natural flavoring.” If that’s what it takes to make those pralines work, then the addition seems like a fine idea. For those with dietary restrictions, the label warns that it’s got pretty much everything that’s worrisome (sorry).
As it turns out, the bakery’s Caramel Bar is also a winner. It’s flecked with mini-chocolate chips on top, but its defining feature is a particularly buttery, homespun caramel that ties all the elements together.
For more information, visit www.bakerycirclevilleohio.com.