Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Caramel Pecan Rolls

Wow, a year of blogging and my 100th recipe! Where has the year gone? Well, it would be way too long a post to list all of the adventures, triumphs, challenges and milestones that I've seen this year. But some highlights of just this month are that the Warrior graduated from preschool today and is headed off to Kindergarten in the fall! I am so proud of him! I absolutely loved watching the Warrior play soccer and they just finished the season undefeated...just in time to begin his busy schedule with t-ball!
The absolute BEST preschool teachers!

Taking it in for the goal!

The Princess just completed her first year of preschool  and is still trying to figure out what activities she would like to enjoy this summer, besides just being cute and playing with her friends! She is an absolute joy to be around and has quite the imagination for creative play!

Singing "Jesus Loves Me!" at her Preschool Program

Posing like a princess

Mothers Day and My Birthday were in the same week ( I love May!), which gave me plenty excuses to be spoiled last week! How great is that? So, I made us some fabulous Chocolate Chip Carmel Pecan Rolls! I definitely limited my splurges, after all we have a big wedding coming up, my big brother is getting married! But I needed these rolls on my birthday week!

Ooey gooey caramel topping, crunchy pecans and rich chocolate pieces!  Yum! You gotta make these rolls, there's plenty to celebrate here!

One large 9x13 pan or 3 small round pans of rolls

4 1/2 cups flour
1 cup  milk
5 Tbl butter
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 envelope rapid-rise yeast
1  tsp salt

Filling Ingredients:
1  cups packed light brown sugar
5 Tbl unsalted butter, room temp
2 Tbl cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips, I used semi-sweet
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Caramel Topping:
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
12 Tbl butter
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt

Ok, let's get started! We'll begin with the Dough. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the butter...just until it begins to get steamy. Don't let it boil! Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and the butter. Let the butter melt and the milk cool down a bit...oh say...10 minutes. Now add the yeast. Mix in it well and let it hang out for a minute while you get your stand mixer. I hope you have will make these rolls so much easier! If you don't...that's ok, you can do it by hand!
Ok, so in the large mixing bowl add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and salt. Now, add your milk mixture and whisk with the whisk attachment until is looks good and mixed. Add the eggs and mix well. Now switch out the whisk attachment and put in the dough hook. Add the remaining flour and let your mixer go to town for about 5 minutes. If you don't have the mixer, this is when your get to do it all by hand! Now cover the dough with a clean dish towel and place in a warm spot for at least an hour, so that it can rise.

In the meantime...let's make Caramel Topping! In a small saucepan over medium heat add the butter and the brown sugar. Stir until the butter is melted and the sugar in well incorporated. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, honey, water, vanilla and sea salt.

Heat the oven to 325.  I like to use 3-8" round cake pans...and either freeze or give away the 2 extra pan of rolls. Lord knows we don't need 2 dozen cinnamon rolls in my house! Anyway, pour and/or divide the caramel topping unto the pan(s). Sprinkle with pecans.

When the dough has doubled in size place it on a clean and nicely floured working surface and roll it out in a large rectangle. I'm not great with measurements (I knew I should have gotten the yard stick out) but you want it about a 1/4" about 24" inches long and I dunno, about 8-10" wide. Spread on the butter, sprinkle with the brown sugar, sprinkle with the cinnamon, sprinkle on the chocolate chips and pecans. Then with the side furthest from you being to roll it up...fairly tight. Now cut slices a little thicker than 1"slices. I usually get 18 good sized rolls. Set them on the caramel goodness in the pans. Cover and set in a warm place once again but just for 20 minutes this time.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Set a plate on top of the finished rolls and flip over letting the caramelly goodness drip down the sides.

Enjoy my friends!


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