Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
1 pkg 3 oz vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 c firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c evaporated milk
1 Tbs butter
2 c pecan halves
Combine pudding mix, brown sugar, evaporated milk, and butter in a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Heat slowly, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves, then cook without stirring to 238 F on a candy thermometer (a teaspoonful will form a softball when dropped into cold water). Remove from heat at once.
Stir in pecans, then beat with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken.
Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto wax paper. If the mixture hardens as you work, warm it again by setting pan over hot water. Let stand until firm.