There are so many things that are so right about my friend Kathy. She loves to laugh. She is sassy. She is comfortable in her own skin. She celebrates ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day’ with me. She is an amazing baker.

I learned what an amazing baker she was when we used to work together. During stressful times, Kathy does not sleep well. So, she bakes. Middle-of-the-night tarts, pies, coffee cakes, crisps, and cookies turned up in the office. It was so bittersweet. I knew Kathy hadn’t slept well but boy was it hard to feel sorry when the flaky crusts, sweet fruit fillings and crumbly toppings graced your lips.

The above photo was taken from her table during an Easter meal that included sausage and sauerkraut, pierogies, mini chocolate cupcakes, brioche filled with apricot and custard and these pecan rolls. It was hands down the best Easter meal I have shared to date.

If I remember correctly, Kathy made the rolls in the photo with a brioche dough. It is not exactly same as the below recipe but I can promise you the recipe I am sharing is worth the effort. She taught a Yeast Breads course at Sur La Table and this was one of her winning lessons. These might be just the perfect breakfast treat for a long holiday weekend. Happy Independence Day!

Caramel Pecan Rolls
Makes about 18 rolls.

2 packages dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 Tbls sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg, beatuen
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
40 or so pecan halves

Dissolve yeast in warm water. In a medium saucepan heat buttermilk until just warm. Add remaining dough ingredients to standing mixer fitted with the dough hook and add the buttermilk mixture. Knead on medium until a smooth dough is formed. Cover and let rise 15-30 minutes until doubled.

Prepare topping in pans – spread softened butter evenly on two 10″ round cake pans and sprinkle evenly with brown sugar.

Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll the dough into a rectangle about 10 x 18 inches. Brush with beaten egg, combine cinnamon and sugar and spread on dough. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Dot with softened butter. Roll up rectangle and cut into 1 inch pieces.


Place 3 whole pecans on one cut side of roll and place pecan side down in prepared pans. Be sure not to crowd the rolls, leave room for expansion. Let rise 30-60 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Turn out of pan onto a serving platter while warm. Caramel will harden as it cools.