Thursday, June 20, 2013

Easy Salted Caramel Pecan Rolls

Sometimes when a recipe says "easy" it means "not very good."  The flavor has been sacrificed for the ease of whipping up a dish in a hurry.  But I am happy to report that this recipe is phenomenal.  Your biggest problem will be resisting the urge to eat too many of them.

This is not a contest winner, but it definitely won the heart of my Louisiana-born, crazy-for-pecans husband, when I gave him a box of them for Father's Day. Many similar recipes call for pecans, but they don't tell you to roast them  Chefs, however, will tell you ALWAYS to roast nuts before you cook with them, to bring out their flavor.  I also added salt to the caramel, which makes these swoon-worthy babies a notch better.  Here you go:

1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 lb. Kraft caramels, unwrapped
2 Tbsp. cream
3 Cups pecans, roasted* (use crushed or halved, your preference)
2 tsp. sea salt

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir marshmallow creme, sifted sugar, vanilla, and almond extract.  Stir (or knead) until it forms a clay-like texture.  Shape it into 8 rolls, about an inch wide.  Wrap each one in waxed paper and freeze overnight.
2. Unwrap caramels and stir with cream in the top of a double boiler until melted and well mixed.  Turn off heat but keep on stove.  Place nuts on a sheet of foil.  Dip marshmallow rolls into caramel, then place on nuts. (I use two forks to keep my hands clean.) Sprinkle with salt, then roll in nuts, pressing the nuts into the salted caramel.  Wrap again with waxed paper and hide them--- I mean store them-- in a cool, dry place.
* To roast nuts of any kind, just stir them in a dry pan over medium heat until nuts begin to brown and become fragrant.  You can also bake them on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, depending on size of nuts.

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