A few weeks ago I become extremely obsessed with the pecan braids at Panera Bread.
When I say obsessed I mean obsessed. To the point that I would be dreaming about them at work and catch myself before I drooled everywhere. To the point where I would drive by a Panera Bread and stare longingly at the storefront rather than the road (the truth is scary sometimes). To the point that I ordered one, or so I thought, and then got to my car only to find out that I accidentally ordered a pecan bun instead and immediately started crying.
Don’t worry, I ate that too. But a pecan braid it was knot (ha. ha. ha.)!
When the weekend rolled around and I was finding myself in a deep depression because of the lack of Panera Breads around our house I knew that perhaps it was time to make my own – and also maybe stop obsessing about the pecan braid. So I tried my hand at the braid thing and try as I may a braid did not emerge from the dough I had.
Who knew that braiding dough would be so hard?
That’s when I decided to do the next best thing and tie it in knots. Stuff each knot with a pecan half. Bake and then dip in a gloriously orange glaze. And then proceed to fight with myself about not eating the entire batch at once.
- 1 sheet puff pastry dough, completely thawed
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 18 pecan halves
- zest and juice from one orange
- 1-2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat your oven to 375. Spread out your puff pastry on a board. Spread the butter all over it, then sprinkle evenly with sugar and cinnamon. Gently press the sugar and cinnamon into the butter. Using a pizza cutter slice into 9 even strips, then slice in half going the other way – you should end up with 18 separate strips. Gently take each strip and tie it into a knot, the place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. When all of the knots are tied you’ll gently tuck one pecan half into the top part of the knot – this allows it to toast but not get burned at the high temperatures. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes until puff pastry is baked through and golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely before glazing.
For the glaze you’ll whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar and the zest and juice from the orange. You want the mixture to be runny, not thick, but also not too runny. Think the consistency of Elmer’s glue (as gross as that sounds) – that’s the thickness you’re looking for. If you have a particularly juice orange like I did you’ll need to add more powdered sugar. Note: this will make more glaze than what you’ll use on these knots, but save the rest! You never know when the craving will strike. When the knots are cooled dip each one in the glaze and set on parchment paper to dry slightly. You will have little puddles of glaze, so after a few minutes you can either a) eat them as is with the extra glaze on the side or b) remove them to another plate and
lick the parchment paper clean dispose of the parchment paper.
The winners of the Love Grown giveaway are:
Ladies, please email me your address at heathersdish [at] gmail [dot] com and I’ll get your fabulous granola out as soon as possible! And a big thanks to everyone who entered…don’t worry, there are more giveaways coming soon!