Toast the pecans ( optional, but delicious ): Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the pecans on a sheet pan and toast for 10 minutes. Remove the pecans and set aside.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan with a heavy bottom over medium heat, add all of the ingredients ( including the pecans) and stir.
Continue slowing stirring the ingredients as they heat until they are all combined into one syrupy liquid. Resist the urge to scrape the sides of the pan down, as that will add large crystals to your pralines.
Stop stirring, and watch the candy thermometer. Once the liquid reaches somewhere between 235 and 240 degrees, remove it from the heat.
Immediately whisk the mixture for about 45 seconds, then let it rest for 2 minutes.
Using an ice cream scoop, quickly scoop out 15 - 20 pralines on the cookie sheets. They will be ready to eat as soon as they cool ( roughly 10 minutes ).