December 13, 2006
(c) 2006, Newsday
These caramel-nougat-nut rolls are reminiscent of the pecan log rolls sold by Stuckey’s, the roadside restaurant that was a fixture in Christine Bisbee’s car-trip-heavy childhood. Making caramel from scratch is an exacting task, so Bisbee melts down commercial caramel candies.
1 pound caramel candies
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
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2 cups marshmallow creme (e.g. Marshmallow Fluff)
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped pecans (or any other nut or even dried fruit)
1. Line a cookie sheet or sheet pan with a Silpat.
2. In a double boiler or microwave, melt caramels until just soft. Pour onto lined pan and, with an offset spatula, spread evenly into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick.
3. In a heavy saucepan equipped with a candy thermometer, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup water over medium heat and simmer, undisturbed, stirring and washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. When temperature reaches 256 degrees, remove from heat and spoon marshmallow creme on top of syrup. Do not stir. After 10 minutes, stir to combine.
4. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and, with a standing mixer, beat until mixture is glossy and breaks off when beaters are lifted. Beat in shortening and nuts.
5. Pour mixture directly on top of caramel and, with a rolling pin, roll evenly so that the layer of nougat is even with the edges of the caramel. When cool enough to handle, use a Silpat to roll up from the narrow end. As you roll, press down gently to even out and smooth the candy. Roll the completed roll in the Silpat and refrigerate until just firm. Cut into 1/2-inch slices. If roll is too hard to cut, let it sit at room temperature for a while. Makes about 2 1/2 pounds, or 25 slices.
Distributed by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service