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Last Updated on April 6, 2021 by Chenée Lewis
Happy New Year! I hope your 2021 is full of health, happiness, and sweet treats, starting with this easy pecan pastry braid! It’s a quick recipe that whips up an impressive pecan pastry in such a pretty braided design! And it’s topped with a quick vanilla icing that brings it all together. It’s perfect for brunch, dessert, or an anytime snack!
Quick and Easy with Frozen Puff Pastry
Time and again, store-bought puff pastry has been a savior in a time crunch. It always produces excellent results and it’s so versatile, working with savory and sweet recipes alike. If you’ve had my brie and cranberry tart, my cinnamon palmiers, or my peach turnovers then you know how much I love puff pastry! I love trying new ways to use puff pastry, and this pecan pastry is my new fave!
- puff pastry – I use Pepperidge Farm puff pastry and always have great results!
- pecan chips – these are pecans that are sold pre-chopped into tiny pieces; also called pecan bits or pecan pieces. If you can’t find pecan chips, you can just chop pecan halves very finely by hand or with a food processor.
- maple syrup – this adds a bit of sweetness and great maple flavor! And it helps to bring the filling together nicely.
- brown sugar – rounds out the rest of the sweet filling and fits perfectly with the flavor of the pecans. I like to use light brown sugar for this recipe but you can use dark brown sugar as well.
- cinnamon – I love the way cinnamon complements the filling for this pecan pastry. It’s optional, though, so you can omit it if you like.
- salted butter – to add a bit of richness to the filling, I toss in a bit of softened butter. It adds a great buttery flavor and really gives the filling that pecan pie taste!
- egg wash – we’ll brush the outside of the pecan braid with an egg beaten with a little water to help achieve that crispy, browned, and flaky result!
Then, for the quick vanilla icing, you’ll just need powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract (check out my post on how to make vanilla extract at home with just 2 ingredients).
For this pecan pastry braid you’ll only need a few tools! A rolling pin to flatten the dough, and a lined baking sheet to bake it! Here are all my equipment recommendations:
If you’re a fan of this pecan pastry braid, then you should check out all my pecan recipes! I love baking with pecans, and there are so many ways to enjoy them! One big hit here on the blog is my brown butter pecan cake. It’s so moist and fluffy, and filled with the richness of brown butter and crunchy toasted pecans throughout the batter. Then it’s draped in a brown butter cream cheese frosting that is to die for!
Or you can check out my Triple-Chocolate Pecan Brownies for a chocolatey treat! These fudgy brownies are rich and delicious, with brown butter, toasted pecans, and three types of chocolate!
Equipment you may need
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, combine pecans, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, and stir with a wooden spoon to mix well.
- Open thawed puff pastry on a large piece of parchment paper and roll slightly with a rolling pin to even out any creases and to slightly flatten it.
- Spread filling mixture into the center third of the puff pastry, leaving a gap near the top and bottom.
- Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to slice diagonal cuts into the outer thirds of the pastry, leaving a one-inch gap between the cuts and the filling.
- Fold the pastry strips over the middle, overlapping each other to create a braid pattern. Tuck the top and bottom in and pinch pastry anywhere there may be gaps.
- Brush all over pastry with egg wash.
- Place pastry and parchment on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Allow to cool before adding icing.
- Add powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and milk to a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Whisk in additional milk, if needed, to achieve desired consistency. Icing should be thin but not overly runny.
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