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Sweet and Sticky Cinnamon Pecan Pull-Apart Muffins

By Eleanor Davis
Contributing Writer
02/06/2024 at 07:34 PM

Prepare these muffins the night before and refrigerate them, then treat your family to the delightful aroma of freshly baked cinnamon and pecan-flavored bread in the morning. Thanks to the convenience of frozen bread dough, this recipe is a breeze to put together. Here's another time-saving tip: toast and freeze a generous batch of pecans. This way, you'll have a head start when you're ready to make family favorites like pecan pies and seasonal cakes, or when you want to enhance a fresh main-dish salad with a generous handful of toasted pecans.

 

For exceptional results, opt for the oven over the stovetop when toasting pecans. The gentle, even heat ensures that they are toasted thoroughly, not just on the surface. Whether you're toasting 1 cup or 10, arrange pecan halves in a single layer on a sturdy, rimmed baking sheet. Bake them at 300°F for 23 to 25 minutes, giving them a gentle stir halfway through. Let them cool completely before placing them in airtight, Ziplock plastic freezer bags. You can store them in the freezer for up to two years, and they will retain their rich flavor and crisp texture beautifully.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of toasted pecans, (coarsely chopped and divided in ½ cup each)
  • 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, (melted and divided into 4 tablespoons and 6 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 pounds of frozen white bread dough, thawed (e.g., Bridgford Frozen White Ready Dough)
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of sorghum syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

Directions

  1. Prepare the Muffin Pan: Grease a 12-cup muffin pan thoroughly with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of the chopped pecans evenly into the muffin cups.
  2. Coat the Dough: In a medium bowl, place 4 tablespoons of the melted butter. Cut the thawed dough into pieces measuring 1/2 to 3/4 inches and place them in the bowl with the butter. Toss the dough pieces well to coat them in butter.
  3. Cinnamon Sugar Coating: In a separate medium bowl, combine the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Add the butter-coated dough pieces and toss them to coat evenly.
  4. Layer the Muffin Cups: Arrange half of the coated dough pieces evenly in the muffin pan on top of the pecans. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans evenly on top of the dough. Then, arrange the remaining coated dough pieces evenly over the pecans in the muffin pan.
  5. Make the Sticky Syrup: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the brown sugar, sorghum syrup, kosher salt, and the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter. Stir occasionally and cook until the mixture begins to bubble, which should take about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Pour the Sticky Syrup: Pour the brown sugar and sorghum syrup mixture evenly over the dough in the muffin pan, aiming for approximately 1 tablespoon in each cup. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  7. Preheat the Oven: When you're ready to bake, remove the pan from the refrigerator and uncover it. Let it stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  8. Bake the Rolls: Place the muffin pan on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any potential drips. Bake in the preheated oven until the dough is puffed and fully cooked through, which should take around 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  9. Transfer and Serve: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Carefully invert the muffins onto the prepared baking sheet, and then transfer them to a platter. Spoon any remaining syrup mixture from the muffin pan over the muffins. Serve the Sticky Pecan Cinnamon Rolls while they're still warm. Enjoy!