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Caramel Nut Ring

Caramel Nut Ring

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Party Pastry>

Yield:> 1 coffeecake; 12 servings

For dough:

1 package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)>

1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)>

3 tablespoons granulated sugar>

2 3/4 tablespoons shortening (regular or butter-flavored)>

1/4 teaspoon salt>

1 egg, beaten, divided>

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour>

For filling:

2/3 cup cookie or cake crumbs>

1/3 cup granulated sugar>

1/4 cup almond paste>

1 pinch salt>

5 tablespoons butter, softened>

For nut topping:

1 egg white>

1/2 teaspoon water>

3 tablespoons granulated sugar>

1/4 cup chopped pecans>

1/4 cup chopped almonds>

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts>

1/4 cup chopped cashews>

1/4 cup toffee bits (such as Skor)>

For caramel icing:

6 tablespoons milk>

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar>

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar>

2 cups powdered sugar>

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened>

5 ounces caramels (18 Kraft caramels, unwrapped)>

To prepare dough:> Dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside. In a

medium bowl, by hand or with a hand mixer, beat sugar, shortening and salt

until fluffy. Measure 2 tablespoons beaten egg; add to shortening mixture and

mix well. Cover remaining beaten egg and set aside.

Blend in about half the flour, then the yeast mixture. Add remaining flour; mix

to a smooth dough. Cover bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

To prepare filling:> In the work bowl of a food processor, combine

crumbs, sugar, almond paste and salt; pulse until mixture resembles coarse

meal. Cut butter into several pieces; add to processor and pulse until mixture

forms a paste.

To prepare nut topping:> Stir together egg white and water, then stir

in sugar; mixture should be sticky. In a medium bowl, mix together nuts and

toffee bits. Add enough of the egg white mixture to bind nut mixture.

To assemble:> On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a

14-by-8-inch rectangle. (If dough is too soft to handle, refrigerate 10

minutes.) Dollop filling over dough; use fingers to gently spread, leaving

about a 1/2-inch border of bare dough along one long edge. Brush bare edge of

dough with reserved beaten egg. Roll up dough and filling, starting with the

filled long edge; roll over egg-brushed edge to seal. Brings ends of roll

together; pinch to form a ring. Lift onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Press lightly to flatten pastry. Distribute nut topping over ring; press

lightly into dough. Cover and let rise about 1 1/2 hours, until ring has

expanded slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Use scissors to make shallow vertical slashes around the outside edge of pastry

at 1-inch intervals. (This gives the ring a slight "flower petal" appearance

and allows it to expand without bursting as it bakes.) Bake 20 minutes or until

golden and cooked through. Let cool completely.

To prepare icing:> In a heavy, medium saucepan, stir together milk,

brown sugar and cream of tartar. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat;

boil 2 minutes. Reduce heat; whisk in powdered sugar and butter until smooth.

Add caramels; stir until melted. Let cool to room temperature, then beat at

high speed with an electric mixer until spreadable and several shades lighter

in color. (Makes about 1 3/4 cups. Any leftover icing may be used as caramel

sauce or ice cream topping.)

Per serving:> 515 calories; 20.5g fat (36 percent calories from fat);

6.5g saturated fat; 37mg cholesterol; 5.5g protein; 77g carbohydrate; 62g

sugar; 1.5g fiber; 138mg sodium; 64mg calcium; 223mg potassium.

Satisfy your cravings

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