Butter Pecan Kringle

Butter Pecan Kringle

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, cut into pats

1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon salt*

1/4 cup cold water

*Reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon if you use salted butter.

Pastry topping

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon salt*

1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon butter rum, eggnog, or vanilla butternut flavor, optional but delicious

*Reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon if you use salted butter.

Pecans and caramel

12 ounces caramel, cut from a block (about 1 cup, packed); or about 3 dozen individual caramel candies*, unwrapped

2 cups pecan halves, toasted in a 350°F oven till golden brown

*Use fresh, soft caramels. If using harder, supermarket-type caramels, add a couple of tablespoons milk or cream when melting, to keep them soft on the kringle; or substitute caramel sauce.

Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ or glazing sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream, half and half, or milk, enough to make a thick but pourable glaze

1/8 teaspoon butter rum, eggnog, or vanilla butternut flavor, optional but good

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) a baking sheet that’s at least 18″ x 13″; or a 14″ round pizza pan.

Directions

Wet your hands, pick up the dough, and shape it into a 12″ x 8″ oval ring on the sheet pan; or a 10″ ring in the pizza pan. This will be messy going, but just keep wetting your fingers and pushing it into a ring.

Once you’ve made the ring, flatten the dough so it’s about 1 1/2″ wide; basically, it’ll look like a train or NASCAR track.

To make the pastry topping: Place the water, butter, and salt in a saucepan, and heat over medium heat till the butter is melted and the mixture is boiling.

Transfer to a mixing bowl, and immediately add the flour, beating until the mixture is cohesive and starts to form a ball.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the flavor at the end, if you’re using it.

Spread the pastry along the ring, covering it completely; you’ll now have a much wider ring, though it won’t be completely closed in the center; it should still look like a ring.

Bake the kringle for 50 to 60 minutes, till it’s a deep golden brown. If you haven’t yet toasted your pecans, this is a good opportunity to do so; they’ll need about 9 to 11 minutes in the oven. When they’re golden, remove them from the oven and cool. When the kringle is done, remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool completely on the pan.

To add the pecans and caramel: First, have the pecans all ready beside the pan of kringle; you’ll be sprinkling them atop the caramel as soon as you pour it on.

Place the caramel in a microwave-safe spouted cup, if you have one; it’s not necessary, but makes it easier to pour. Melt the caramel till its bubbly, remove it from the microwave, stir a few times to smooth out the bubbles, and immediately drizzle it over the kringle. If it stiffens up, reheat briefly in the microwave.

Sprinkle pecans atop the caramel, pressing them in gently. Allow the kringle to cool completely.

To make the glaze: Stir together the confectioners’ sugar, salt, flavor (if you’re using it), and enough milk or cream to make a pourable glaze. Drizzle it over the kringle.

To serve, cut the kringle in 2″ slices. Yield: one large (12″ x 16″ oval, or 14″ round) kringle, about 2 dozen servings.

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