Bonnie's StoryThis is a bit of heaven. I have had some of the best Alligator pastry in the world at other bakeries here in Los Angeles, all the recipes are a guarded secret. Gelsons market is the only recipe available. It is rich and heavenly.
I have made it many times. It is too expensive to buy otherwise for a party or a group of people. Some bakeries sell it by the pound, others make you buy the whole pastry.
Alligator is a Jewish very rich pastry, rich with buttery flavor, almond paste and pecans with a hint of maple.
MUST READ the recipe before making. THIS TAKES AN EXPERIENCED BAKER.
envelope dry yeast plus 1 cup of warm milk 105* to 110* degress
1 1/2 tsp
2 1/2 c
softened butter, divided
1 /1/2 c
ground slightly roasted pecans
real maple syrup
about 60 slightly roasted pecan halves (for decorating)
1Preheat oven to 375*.
Make the frosting and set aside.
Heat the maple syrup and 1/4 cup butter until butter melts. Stir in the confectioners' sugar until smooth.
TO MAKE THE DOUGH:
Dissolve the yeast in about half the milk; let stand 5 minutes.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, 3 tablespoons melted butter, remaining milk and the yeast mixture. Gradually beat in the 2 1/2 cups flour. Knead to make a smooth dough, about 6 to 8 minutes. Let dough rest for 30 minutes, covered with a clean towel.
Roll out on a floured surface into a large rectangle, about 16 by 20 inches. Spread 1/4 cup of the softened butter on top. Fold the dough into thirds. Repeat 2 more times, rolling and then spreading with the remaining butter. Allow dough to rest 30 minutes.
2TO MAKE THE FILLING (makes about 2 cups):
Blend the 1 cup sugar, almond paste, 3/4 cup butter and honey into a paste. Toss the ground pecans with the 1 tablespoon flour and fold into the paste.
3TO SHAPE AND BAKE:
Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Using 1 portion at a time, roll dough as thinly as possible into an 18x12-inch rectangle. Spread the half of the filling on entire surface of each dough rectangle, then fold each lengthwise in thirds. Place on lightly greased baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Decorate tops with pecan halves to resemble an alligator's skin. Let rest 15 minutes.
4Bake alligators for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. While still hot, drizzle tops with the Maple Icing.
5Makes 2 Alligators.
Note: I like to roast my pecans sighlty.