Millie’s Polish Nut Rolls

I was home for the Thanksgiving weekend and walked into my parents house to an amazing smell. My Mom was busy making what she called, “Polish Nut Rolls,” and the kitchen had the amazing aroma of pecans, brown sugar and yeast permeating throughout. I made a bee-line for the rolls, and the taste absolutely did not disappoint. After further questioning, I locked down the recipe and quickly posted it here for posterity. Thanks to my parents’ long time family friends – Dennis and Millie – for this recipe.

-Ben

Ease of Preparation: Medium (Only because it’s time consuming)

INGREDIENTS

Dough:

  • 4-5 Cups Flour (depending on stickiness of dough) – You can replace up to 2 cups with Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Pound (2 Sticks) Soft Butter – Note from my Mom that Old Traditional Recipes are not healthy…but then again, neither are Julia Childs’ recipes and she did ok…
  • 4 Egg Yolks (Don’t throw away the whites…you use them in the nut mixture)
  • 1 Yeast Cake or Packet of Dried Yeast or 2.25 tsp of Granular Yeast
  • 1 Cup Warm Milk
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract – NOT IMITATION
  • Sugar for rolling out dough
  • 1/4 Cup Melted butter for brushing the dough

Nut Mixture:

  • 2 Pounds Finely Chopped Pecans (Or combination of Finely and Coarse Chopped)
  • 1 Pound Brown Sugar
  • 4 Egg Whites

To make dough: Mix butter, egg yolks and yeast together. Add warm milk, 4 cups flour, and vanilla and mix well. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes adding final cup of flour little by little until dough is malleable and not sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Use this time to chop your pecans. If you’re buying pre-chopped nuts, there’s nothing to do until the dough has finished chilling. Don’t make the nut mixture until the dough is ready to come out of the refrigerater to keep the egg whites from sitting out. When the dough is ready, make the nut mixture mixing the nuts, brown sugar and slightly beaten egg whites together and set aside. Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees. Split the dough into ten equal ball sized portions. Lightly dust a clean countertop with sugar (not flour) and roll out each dough ball one at a time into a wide rectangular shape. Brush the dough with the melted butter and add approximately a loose cup of the pecan mixture spreading it out over the dough rectangle. Make sure to leave a 1/2 inch of uncovered dough around the perimiter. Then roll up the dough with the mixture widthwise into a tube jellyroll style. Gently crimp the edges sealing the tube and place on a greased cookie sheet. Prick the top with a fork several times to release steam. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter or egg whites. Bake for twenty minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Cut into bite size pieces and enjoy! Unless you’re giving them away, you’ll want to freeze some of these once they’ve cooled. I mean…there are ten of these things…

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