Salted-Caramel Pecan Rolls

When it comes to comfort food, warm and fragrant pecan rolls rise to the top. Roasting pecans in butter and salt imparts deep, rich flavor to both the topping and filling in these tender cinnamon spirals. We recommend using Saigon cinnamon, one of the most potent varieties available. Don’t be surprised if you’re begged to make these again and again.

Makes 8 giant rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup half-and-half
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4½ to 5½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3¾ cups pecan halves, divided
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground Saigon cinnamon
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light-color corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • ¼ cup butter, softened

Directions

For the dough, in a medium saucepan, combine milk, half-and-half, honey and shortening. Cook over medium heat until lukewarm (110°F). Remove from heat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl; sprinkle yeast over milk mixture. Let mixture stand until yeast blooms, about 5 minutes.

Add egg, salt and 2 cups flour to yeast mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Continue beating on medium speed until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Place dough in a lightly greased large bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour).

For the filling, while dough is rising, preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine melted butter and salt; toss pecans into mixture, coating well. Spread pecans onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until pecans are lightly toasted, stirring halfway through. Cool on a wire rack. Reserve 2 cups of pecans; set aside. Coarsely chop remaining pecans; place in a medium bowl. Stir in sugars and cinnamon. Set aside.

For topping, grease sides of a 13×9×2-inch baking pan. In a small heavy saucepan, combine ½ cup butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and whipping cream. Cook over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble around pan edges. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into buttered pan. Sprinkle reserved toasted pecans evenly over top; set aside.

Remove the risen dough from bowl and gently roll out to a 16×10-inch rectangle on a very lightly floured surface. Spread softened butter evenly over dough. Sprinkle filling evenly over dough. Tightly roll the dough, beginning at one long side, keeping the roll as uniform as possible. Pinch the edges to seal. Using a serrated knife, trim both ends. Then cut the roll into eight even slices.

Arrange rolls in baking pan, evenly spacing them apart. Then use your hands to gently press the rolls into the pecans. Cover loosely with buttered plastic wrap and let rise until double (about 60 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until rolls test done. Let stand in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen rolls from sides of pan with a spatula and invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm.

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