Conventional directions: Combine milk and sugars in a large saucepan. Boil to the thread stage.
Add butter, vanilla and pecans, and cook over medium heat to the soft ball stage.
Remove pan from heat. Beat candy immediately until it thickens. Quickly drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper.
Microwave directions: Combine milk and sugars in a 2-quart batter bowl; microwave on High for 7:00 minutes, until mixture begins to bubble. Add butter, vanilla and pecans.
Microwave on High six to seven minutes, until mixture reaches 232-degrees to 240-degrees--the soft ball stage.
Remove from microwave, and beat candy immediately until it thickens. Quickly drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper.
To use microwave thermometer to test temperature, crumple a 15" piece of Stretch-Tite or plastic wrap into a long ribbon.
Center the ribbon over the batter bowl, pressing both ends on the outside of the bowl. Stick the microwave thermometer through the center of the plastic wrap strip--it will stand straight up in the center of the candy.
Check the thermometer every 45 seconds to 1 minute.
NOTES : For a quick holiday treat, try making pralines in the microwave--Cynthia's update to this classic recipe. Both conventional and microwave directions are included.