Holiday Recipe: Pecan Kringle

The dessert experts at Cook's Country have taken a Christmas dessert that's usually store-bought and made it simple enough for home cooks. Those of us native to the west coast usually don't even have memories of kringles lovingly produced by hand at a local bakery: the closest we've come to kringle tradition is taking it out of a box from the grocery store.

But never fear: Cook's Country's precise directions, with an unusual, but ultimately delicious, call for a mix of sour cream and vegetable oil for the dough, will make your homemade efforts the star of the dessert (or breakfast!) table. Entenmann's will be forever forgotten.

Photo courtesy Cook's CountryPecan Kringle
Makes 2 kringles, each serving 8
To bake only one kringle, adjust the oven rack to the middle position. If the dough appears shaggy and dry after adding the sour cream in step 2, add up to 2 tablespoons ice water until the dough is smooth. If the capacity of your food processor is less than 11 cups, pulse the butter and shortening into the dry mixture in two batches at the beginning of step 2.

Filling:
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup pecans, toasted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled

Dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups sour cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons whole or low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Process sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and salt in food processor until pecans are coarsely ground. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to bowl.

2. Add flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and shortening to empty food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to bowl and stir in sour cream until dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and divide in half. Pat each half into 7- by 3-inch rectangle and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes, then freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

3. Roll one dough half into 28- by 5-inch rectangle, cover lower half of strip with half of filling, fold dough over filling, and pinch seams closed. Shape into oval, tuck one end inside of other, and pinch to seal. Transfer to parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 or up to 12 hours. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

4. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Discard plastic, brush kringles with egg, and bake until golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Transfer kringles to wire rack and cool 30 minutes.

5. Whisk sugar, milk, and vanilla in bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze over kringles. Let glaze set 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Kringle can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.) And enjoy!

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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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