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Caramel Pecan Rolls from 2011 Iowa State Fair
2011 Iowa State Fair Cinnamon Roll Contest Winner
16 large rolls OR 24 medium rolls
about 2-1/2 hours
25 to 35 minutes
1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°F)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 envelopes Fleischmann's® Active Dry Yeast
2 cups milk (100° to 110°F)
1/2 cup butter OR margarine, cut into slices
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
7-1/2 to 8-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3-3/4 cups whole pecan halves, divided
3 tablespoons butter OR margarine, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter OR margarine, softened
1/2 cup butter OR margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup, light
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350°F.
For Rolls: Combine water, 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast in a small bowl; let rest 5 minutes. Heat milk and butter until warm (100° to 110°F); butter does need to completely melt.
Pour into large mixer bowl with 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Add eggs, 3 cups flour and yeast mixture. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place, about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk. Punch down dough and let rise an additional 1 hour.
While dough is rising, place pecans on a shallow baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons melted butter. Toss well to coat.
Bake for 10 minutes until pecans are lightly toasted. Cool on a wire rack.
Measure 3 cups pecans and finely chop to use in filling. Set aside remaining 3/4 cup pecans for Caramel Syrup. To make filling, combine sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts. Mix well and set aside.
To make Caramel Syrup: Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and cream in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook until syrup is just starting to bubble around the edges of the pan. Remove from heat and pour an equal amount of hot syrup into four 8-inch greased round or square pans. Or use two greased 13 x 9-inch pans. Sprinkle toasted pecans over syrup and gently stir to coat the pecans. Set aside.
Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin to a 16 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread with half of the softened butter and sprinkle half of the filling evenly over dough. Roll up jellyroll style. Slice into 8 rolls, placing 4 of the rolls, cut side down, in each of the 8-inch pans, on top of Caramel Syrup. (Put 8 rolls in 13 x 9-inch pans. For smaller rolls, cut dough into 12 slices, putting 6 rolls in 8-inch pans or 12 rolls in 13 x 9-inch pans.) Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rolls rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pans or 30 to 35 minutes for 13 x 9-inch pans, until golden. Remove from oven and let stand 2 minutes. Invert rolls on to serving plates or parchment paper.