Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pecan Swirls

I made these when I first moved to Indiana. Twenty years later, I made these for my son, Nathaniel's 15th birthday breakfast. An instant hit! We decided they are better than Panera Bread's Pecan Spirals.

2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar (I used organic cane)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter (1 stick) - slightly softened
1 egg, beaten
1/3 c. milk
1 Tbsp. melted butter
3 Tbsp. finely chopped pecans
3 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender (yes, one of those handy things you put in your drawer and wonder why you have it), cut in 1/2 c. butter. Be sure the butter is hard and not too soft or it won't work. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. The smaller the "peas" the better it will turn out. Combine the mil and egg and mix. Pour into the dry flour-butter mixture and stir quickly until it clings together. It should be soft, but not "batter." You will need to add a little flour as you knead it, so don't worry if it is soft.

Knead gently about 15-20 strokes on a floured surface. Roll or pat out dough into a 15"x8" rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Combine chopped pecans, dark brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture over the buttered dough.

Fold dough in half to make a 15"x4" rectangle. Cut into 1-inch strips (15). Holding each strip at both ends, twist in opposite directions, twice to form a spiral. Place on greased baking sheet and gently press both ends down to hold. Continue doing this until all strips are swirled.

Bake in middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes, just until tops are browned. While baking, combine powdered sugar and milk so that you have a drizzling consistency. Remove swirls from oven and cool for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle the swirls with powdered sugar mixture. Cool another minute and eat. They are quite tasty!

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