Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sticky Caramel Croissant Chrysanthemum (Sticky Mums)

After spying a super clever bread dough baked into a flower on Pinterest yesterday, I decided I had to make a sweet version--with croissant dough--and caramel. This is the result. I have to say that although this was a delicious success, having all of the yummy brown sugar and butter flaky goodness of my Croissant Caramel Sticky Buns, the middle ended up too underdone for my liking. Some people enjoy that nearly raw texture of their baked goods, but I do not. So next time I'll be using two slightly smaller pans, and I anticipate Sticky Mum perfection. 
Here's the recipe as I executed it today. When and if I actually make it again, I'll make some revisons. For now, I know I ate way too much of this today as my tummy is telling me so.

Sticky Caramel Croissant Chrysanthemum (Sticky Mums)
     --inspired by Country Mom (blog is in Russian)



  • 3/4 cup lightly toasted pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened

Carmel Goo

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
The Dough
1.  Whisk 3 cups flour together with the yeast, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.  Place the milk in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Add the flour mixture and kneed at low speed until a ball of dough forms.  Cut the 2 tablespoons butter into small pieces and add to the dough.  Continue to knead until the butter becomes fully incorporated and the dough becomes smooth, begins to form a ball, and clears the sides of the bowl.  Add up to ¼ cup more flour, one tablespoon at a time if the dough is too sticky.  Place dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.
2. Place the 2 ½ sticks of butter and 1 tablespoon flour into the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment.  Beat until butter is uniformly smooth and creamy. 
3. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface.  Roll dough into 10 x 14-inch rectangle.  Spread butter evenly over the bottom 2/3 of the rectangle.  Fold unbuttered third onto the middle third.  Brush away excess flour with a clean pastry brush. Then fold that onto the bottom third.  Seal edges with side of your hand. (You have 3 layers.)
4.  Using a rolling pin, gently whack the dough, starting at the center of the dough and go outward.  Then gently roll the dough into about a 7 x 12-inch rectangle, and fold into thirds again.  Make sure that the butter doesn’t break through.  IF it does, sprinkle with flour. Wrap in wax paper and then place in an unsealed gallon size plastic bag. Refrigerate for about 30-45 minutes. (This makes 27 layers now.)
5.  Remove dough from refrigerator and remove from bag/wrap, and on a floured surface, gently whack and roll into a 10 x 14-inch rectangle.  As in step four, fold dough into thirds (81 layers now) and then fold in half one last time. (Now there are 162 layers.) Wrap and refrigerate again for 2 hours to overnight.

The Filling and Goo
While the dough is refrigerating for the last time, prepare the caramel goo and the filling.
For the goo: in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When butter is nearly melted, add the brown sugar and light corn syrup. Stir to incorporate ingredients. Stir almost continually while the goo heats. Once it is really bubbling around the edges of the pan, and bubbles start popping up in the middle, set your timer for one minute and stir and boil goo for one minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
For the filling, place the chopped pecans, brown sugar and butter in a medium sized bowl. Mix with your fingers until you have a uniform crumbly mixture. Set aside.
Forming the Crysanthemum
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Prepare a 10" spring form pan by cutting a parchment paper circle to fit in the bottom. Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray and place the parchment snugly in the bottom of the pan. Set aside. (Note: I think my center came out too underdone and the outside too done, so next time I will use two 8" round cake pans for this recipe. I'll need to bake them for about 18-24 minutes, I think.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll out your croissant dough to about 1/8 inch thickness or and 18"x18" square. Using a sharp biscuit cutter that is about 2 3/4 to 3 inches in diameter, cut as many circles as you can in the sheet of dough. (I ended up with 36 circles and used 32 in my 10" spring form pan.) Place the dough scraps, covered, in the refigerator for later. * 
Working with one circle at a time, place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the circle and sort of spread it out to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Fold the circle almost in half, so that the top edge is about 1/4 inch below the edge of the bottom edge (see pic below). Carefully fold the half circle in half again, sort of pinching the inside tips where they meet (see pic below), and place in the pan with the back to the side of the pan. Repeat with remaining circles. Don't pack them too tightly because they will rise and grow larger when baked--plus you need to have some space for the caramel goo.
For the very center of the flower, just put the filling in the center of a circle and make a little cup with the filled circle and place it in the very middle.
Cover and allow to rise in a cool place (not the fridge though) for about 40 minutes, or until dough is puffed and leaves an indentation when you poke it with your finger.
Right before putting it in the oven, place the caramel goo in a sturdy zip top container (I used a quart size), snip about 1/4 inch off one corner, and squeeze the goo into the nooks and crannies of the flower.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 27-30 minutes, or until the buns are well browned, but not singed.
Makes about 32-36 three-bite buns

*After baking your Chysanthemum, use the scraps of dough and any leftover filling and caramel to bake up little taste testers in non-stick muffin tins. Or you can just bake the scraps of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 10-12 minutes and enjoy the buttery croissant goodness.

Look at all the fun scraps you can play with later...
Pecan, brown sugar and butter filling

Such a pretty sight
This video shows the point at which you start
your timer for one minute.
Caramel in a makshift pastry bag
I think the caramel bag helps get the caramel in the right places.
Right out of the oven the caramel is still bubbly on top.
Three bites of sweet buttery goodness
Filled with yummy sweet pecans

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