Pull Apart Caramel Pecan Pastry

I decided to make my own caramel sauce!

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan set on medium-high heat, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup cold water and stir to combine. Do not stir anymore after this, otherwise your sugar will settle back into wet looking sugar.
2. Cook, without stirring until the sugar melts and turns a deep amber hue. Watch this part very carefully so you don’t burn the pan. This should take about 10-12 minutes.
3. Warm the cream in a saucepan or in the microwave in increments of 30 seconds to prevent boiling over. When the sugar is a deep amber hue, slowly whisk in the warm cream, which will cause the solution to bubble rapidly. Whisk until smooth for about 2 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, whisk in the butter and salt.
5. Set aside.

Ingredients for the pecan pull apart pastry
Non stick cooking spray
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
two 8-ounce cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
all purpose flour, if needed for rolling
6 Tablespoons caramel sauce
1.5 cups pecans, roughly chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
2. Coat an angel food pan or 9×5 glass loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
3. Mix together the sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Set aside.
4.Unroll the dough from the two cans and stack them on top of each other to make a double lay of dough. Press them together with a rolling pin and roll them into a 12×12″ square.
5. Spread most of the caramel sauce evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the caramel.
6. Sprinkle the pecans in an even layer, pressing them into the dough, gently.
7. Cut the dough with a pizza cutter into 16 small squares.
8. Stack 4 of the squares on top of each other. Repeat so you have 4 stacks of 4.
9. If you are using the loaf pan, place each stack on it’s side so that you can see the caramel and pecan between the stacks. Separate the layers so that they fill up the pan. Sprinkle any sugar or pecans that fell out over the top.
10. If you are using the angel food pan, take a stack and place it in the pan spreading it out like a stack of cards. Continue until all 4 stacks are in the pan, covering the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle any sugar or pecans that fell out over the top.
11. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 50 minute if using the glass pan but 30 minutes if using the angel food pan.
12. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes until the top is golden brown.
13. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
14. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce before serving. If using the angel food pan, flip the pastry onto a serving platter and drizzle with caramel sauce before serving.

If you are reheating, put on a oven safe sheet, warm in the oven for 10 minutes at 325F.

This recipe is really sweet. I cut down on the sprinkled sugar since the caramel sauce more than makes up for it. Also consider mixing your own pumpkin pie spice which is 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoon each of ginger and nutmeg, 1.5 teaspoon each of allspice and cloves.

Recipes adapted from Bobby Flay’s Salted Caramel Sauce in the NYT and the Food network’s Sticky Pecan Pull Apart Bread. Yields 6 servings

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