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REC: Crocodile, Gayle's in Cupertino

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13615 posts
Joined: Jul 17, 2006


Posted to Thread #5318 at 2:26 am on Jan 14, 2007


from Gailís in Capitola, CA

(Makes one 16" x 7" pastry)

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar

Egg Glaze:
1 egg
2 T. milk
1/2 recipe (1 lb.) Basic Puff Pastry Dough (buy it!!!)
2/3 cup chopped pecans
40 pecan halves
1/4 cup Simple Syrup (recipe follows)

Maple Glaze
6 T. confectioners sugar
2 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. water

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Have ready another baking sheet that fits just inside the first one (for flattening the pastry while it bakes). Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the brown sugar. Set aside to cool. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk to make the Egg Glaze.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a rectangle roughly measuring 19 x 16 x 1/8 inches. Trim the dough to 17 x 14 x 18 inches, reserving the scraps for another use.

Brush the entire surface of the dough with a light to medium coating of egg glaze. Reserve the remaining glaze. Spread the brown sugar/butter mixture down the center of the dough in a 15 x 5 inch rectangle, leaving a 1 inch border along the 14 inch long edges and a 4 1/2 inch border along each 17 inch side. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the filling.

Fold the 17 inch long sides of the dough over the filling, overlapping them slightly, and press lightly to seal. (The dough will now be about 7 inches wide.) Fold the ends over 3/4 inch and pinch to seal. The finished piece will measure 16 x 7 inches.

Gently flip the crocodile over onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush it again with the glaze and place it in the freezer for at least 20 minutes or, preferably, for overnight. At this point, the crocodile can be frozen for up to 1 week. If freezing the crocodile overnight or longer cover the Egg Glaze with plastic wrap and refrigerate, or make more later.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the crocodile directly from the freezer and place it on the center rack in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Again brush the top of the pastry with a light coat of the remaining glaze, then arrange the pecan halves in rows 8 pecans long and 5 pecans across, gently pressing them in place.

Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the crocodile, then set the second baking sheet on top and press down lightly. Return the pastry to the center rack in the oven, leaving the baking sheet on top, and bake for 35 to 490 minutes more, or until golden brown. (Due to the thinness of the dough, some of the butter will leak out during baking.)

Remove from the oven and, while still hot, brush with the Simple Syrup. To make the Maple Glaze, combine the confectioners sugar, maple syrup, and water with a fork until the glaze has a smooth consistency and runs off the fork. When the crocodile has cooled for 5 to 10 minutes, dip a fork into the Maple Glaze and drizzle it over the top of the pastry in a squiggly pattern.

When the glaze has hardened and the pastry is completely cool, trim 1/4 inch off the ends, then cut into 2-inch slices, making sure one row of pecans is in the center of each slice.

Simple Syrup-

1/4 cup sugar
2 T. water
1/2 cup light corn syrup

Bring all to a rapid boil. Cool and store in fridge for up to one month.

Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out, but I can usually shut her up with cookies!

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