I have made these for years. Don't know where I got the recipe. I NEVER tell anyone they are made with buttermilk before they taste them and start raving about how good the are........I know, sneaky, huh? :-)
In an 8 qt pan, mix first 4 ingredients. Cook approx. 5 minutes or use a candy thermometer and cook to 210 degrees stirring frequently and scraping bottom of pan.
Add butter and pecans. Continue cooking and stirring until soft ball stage (230 degrees). Remove from heat, cool 1 or 2 minutes then beat with spoon until thick and creamy. Drop by spoonfuls onto buttered wax paper.