- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 batch Basic Sweet-Roll Dough, without nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes; set aside.
Melt 1 stick butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and heavy cream; boil until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, vinegar, rum, salt and the toasted pecans. Pour all but 1/2 cup of the pecan mixture into an 8-inch-round, 3-inch-deep cake pan. Refrigerate until almost set, about 15 minutes. Set the remaining pecan mixture aside at room temperature.
Put the remaining 1/2 stick butter in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave until melted. Put the granulated sugar in another bowl. Pinch off tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Dip the balls in the melted butter, letting the excess drip off, then roll in the granulated sugar; arrange in the prepared cake pan in 2 layers, leaving a bit of space between the balls. Let rise, uncovered, in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the bread until puffed and golden brown (a thermometer inserted into the center should register 175 degrees F), about 55 minutes; tent with aluminum foil if the top is getting too dark. Remove the bread from the oven and spread the reserved 1/2 cup pecan mixture on top. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a plate. Pull off pieces to serve.
Photograph by Johnny Miller