Yummy Origin Stories: Stuckey's Pecan Log Roll
Updated: Jun 28, 2021
We love food! We especially love creative food treats that were invented to make us happy, if not necessarily healthy. You just know the origin stories of those delightful products have to be interesting and probably surprising, too!
Remember these gooey delights? They've been the highlight of long car trips for weary families in need of a sugar rush since 1937. That's the year Mrs. Ethel Stuckey perfected the old southern recipe for pecan log rolls, and started selling her unique version at the family’s roadside Pecan stands in Eastman, Georgia.
Mrs. Stuckey’s own recipe for the pecan divinity confection was based on a secret mix of powdered sugar, white molasses, and roasted nuts. The recipe is still kept secret.
But we found a close contender posted by Kari Homan Shannon on Food.com. We know this recipe to be true to the original because the current president and CEO of Stuckey’s, Stephanie Stuckey herself, posted this comment on the recipe page:
“Hey, Stephanie Stuckey here. I stumbled upon this recipe while doing a Google search. My grandfather founded Stuckey's and our pecan log roll recipe is my grandmother's. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this recipe is lacking our secret ingredient, maraschino cherries. Having said that, pecan log rolls are delicious, and we appreciate you putting our name out there. Keep on rolling!”
You can still buy Stuckey's Pecan Log Rolls at their roadside shops and online. However, should you get an irrepressible urge to make your own at home, here’s the recipe, but don’t forget to add some maraschino cherry pieces to the fondant mixture.
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 egg white
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (14 ounce) package caramels
3 tablespoons water
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with buttered wax paper; set aside.
Combine corn syrup, water and sugar in small heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Wash down side of pan with pastry brush dipped in hot water frequently, to remove sugar crystals.
Add candy thermometer. Continue to cook until mixture reaches the hard-ball stage (255 degrees F).
Meanwhile, beat egg white and cream of tartar with heavy duty electric mixer, until stiff but not dry.
Slowly pour hot syrup into egg white, beating constantly.
Add vanilla extract.
Beat until candy forms soft peaks and starts to lose its gloss.
Spoon fondant into prepared pan.
Cut into three strips lengthwise, then crosswise in center. Freeze until firm.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper, set aside.
Melt caramels with water in small heavy saucepan, over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Arrange pecans on wax paper. Working quickly, drop 1 piece of the frozen fondant into melted caramels to coat. Roll in pecans to completely coat.
Place on prepared baking sheet to set.
Repeat with remaining fondant pieces, reheating caramel mixture if it becomes too thick.
Cut logs into 1/2-inch slices.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container between layers of wax paper or freeze up to 3 months.
Yield: six 5-inch rolls