Feel like it’s a holiday every morning with this simple Panera Pecan Braid Copycat Recipe! This easy-to-follow recipe yields a stunning pecan pastry with a lovely braided pattern in no time at all. A simple vanilla frosting serves as the finishing touch. It works as well as a dessert after a meal or as a quick snack in between.
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In terms of visual appeal, the Panera Pecan Braid is hard to beat. If you make your puff pastry from home, this is a great way to show off the beautiful layers.
Puff pastry from the grocery has saved me in a pinch more times than I can count. Consistently successful, it may be used in both savory and sweet dishes. You know I adore puff pastry when you’ve tried my brie and cranberry tart, cinnamon palmiers, or peach turnovers. This pecan puff pastry is my new favorite way to enjoy puff pastry.
What Makes This Panera Pecan Braid Copycat Recipe Great
- Easy – This comes together fast with only a few ingredients.
- Prep ahead of time – This Panera Pecan Braid Copycat Recipe may be made up to 8 hours ahead of time. Simply wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Brush the egg wash on just shortly before baking.
- Delicious – This is an impressively flavorful dessert or brunch option, especially considering how easy it is to make. In addition, it looks really lovely.
- Versatile – You have the option of putting your own take on the flavors by using things like chopped almonds, hazelnuts, icing, and a whole lot more.
Ingredients That You’ll need:
- Puff pastry – when I make puff pastry, I usually get fantastic results from using pepperidge farm puff pastry.
- Pecan chips – these are pecans that have already been cut into little pieces and are sold commercially; they are sometimes referred to as pecan bits or pecan pieces. In the event that you are unable to get pecan chips, you may just use a knife or a food processor to very finely mince pecan halves.
- Maple syrup – this imparts a wonderful maple flavor as well as a touch of sweetness. Additionally, it assists in bringing the filling to a lovely cohesive state.
- Brown sugar – a flavor that harmonizes with that of the nuts and that, when combined with the other components of the sugary filling, creates a seamless whole. In this recipe for a copycat Panera pecan braid, my go-to option of brown sugar to use is light brown sugar; however, you may use dark brown sugar in its place if you prefer.
- Cinnamon – this copycat Panera pecan braid recipe is one of my favorites since the filling is enhanced by the use of cinnamon. However, as it is not required, you are free to ignore it if you so want.
- Salted butter – I like to mix in a little bit of butter that has been melted in order to give the filling a bit more richness. It imparts a wonderful buttery flavor to the filling and truly recreates the flavor of pecan pie.
- Egg wash – in order to assist obtain the desired crispy, browned, and flaky texture, we will brush the outside of the copycat Panera pecan braid with an egg that has been beaten with a little bit of water.
Then, in order to make the speedy vanilla frosting, all you will need is powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla essence.
How To Make Copycat Panera Pecan Braid
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pecans, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon with a wooden spoon
- On a wide sheet of parchment paper, unfold the defrosted puff pastry and roll it with a rolling pin to smooth out any wrinkles and gently flatten it.
- Spread the filling mixture in the middle third of the puff pastry, leaving space at the top and bottom.
- Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut diagonal lines into the outer thirds of the pastry, leaving a one-inch space between the diagonal lines and the filling.
- Make a braided design by folding the pastry strips over the center and overlapping them to create a braid. Tuck the top and bottom in, then pinch the crust to close any gaps.
- Brush the egg wash all over the pastry.
- Bake the pastry and parchment in a preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow cooling before frosting.
- 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.
Other Substitutions and Flavours
- Make it gluten-free and or vegan – By using a gluten-free pastry that is produced with vegetable fat rather than butter, this may be adapted to accommodate a variety of dietary preferences. Brush the top with plant-based milk such as almond milk rather of an egg wash to give it a more natural flavor.
- Add fruit filling – You might use any flavored jam that you prefer, such as orange marmalade, peach, raspberry, strawberry, or any other flavor that you would want.
- Try it with chocolate – This pastry braid would be delicious with Nutella or maybe a chocolate bar layered within.
- Make a different shape – For this Copycat Panera Pecan Braid recipe, you don’t have to restrict yourself to a lattice braid if you don’t want to. You may make turnovers and cut them into triangles, scrolls, pinwheels, swirls, sticks, or squares. Other possible shapes include swirls. It will not be difficult for you to give it your own unique spin.
How To Serve Copycat Panera Pecan Braid?
This Pecan Braid Copycat from Panera is simply incredible as soon as it comes out of the oven. If you want to dress up your Panera Pecan Braid, even more, you can serve it with whipped cream, ice cream, or even flavored vanilla yogurt if you want to be really creative. All of these toppings are perfectly suitable for use with this straightforward dish.
How To Reheat Copycat Panera Pecan Braid?
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Bake a foil-wrapped Copycat Panera Pecan Braid until it springs back when you gently press down on the top (about 10 minutes). Peel back the foil to expose the top of the Copycat Panera Pecan Braid and bake until crisp to the touch (about 5 minutes).
How Long Does Copycat Panera Pecan Braid Last?
You may keep the Copycat Panera Pecan Braid at room temperature for a few days in a ziplock bag or an airtight container. Alternatively, you can keep it in the refrigerator for around 5 days. Sooner or later, the Panera Pecan Braid will get softer and less crunchy. However, they should be consumed on the same day that they are created for the finest possible flavor.
Can I Create Panera Pecan Braid With Another Dough?
Danish pastry is another fantastic option for the Copycat Panera Pecan Braid.
To ensure that the Copycat Panera Pecan Braid puffs out appropriately in the oven, it must first be baked in a cold state. It’s conceivable that the temperature in the oven was too high when you cooked the pastry.
Can I Use A Fruit Filling In Copycat Panera Pecan Braid?
Yes, however, bear in mind that if you use fruit fillings in your Copycat Panera Pecan Braid, you will be dealing with a greater amount of moisture, which might cause the pastry to deflate and become unusable. On the other hand, the filling can be cooked until all of the extra moisture is removed, allowed to cool, and then used as a filling.
Panera Pecan Braid Copycat Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
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- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 490
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 28g44%
- Saturated Fat 11g56%
- Trans Fat 0.5g
- Cholesterol 55mg19%
- Sodium 280mg12%
- Total Carbohydrate 52g18%
- Dietary Fiber 3g12%
- Sugars 23g
- Protein 8g16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.