- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot combine first six ingredients (sugar through pecans) and put on medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heat-resistant rubber spatula. Cook until the batter reaches the soft ball stage—about 30 minutes on medium heat.
- When mixture reaches the soft ball stage, take pot off burner and let it cool for a couple of minutes.
- Chop butter into a few pats and add to pot. Then add vanilla, stirring the butter and vanilla into the mix with a wooden spoon until it begins to come together. Stir vigorously; stopping as soon as it tightens up just a little. It will need to be soft enough to pour it over the brie.*
- Place brie on cookie sheet line with parchment or waxed paper. Pour praline mixture over top of brie, enough to cover the top completely (don’t worry if a little drips down the sides).
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese puffs out a bit at the sides. Serve warm with crackers or crusty bread.
*Note that traditional pralines call for much more stirring. It’s this step that makes everyone want to quit a little too soon, but it needs to set and tighten, so keep stirring! Moving on too quickly means the pralines won’t come together.