Potica Pecan Pinwheels with Salty Caramel

Potica Pecan Pinwheels with Salty Caramel


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Potica (Po-Teet-Za) is a European pastry that my Croatian grandmother made every Christmas when I was a little girl. A few years ago, my mother found her recipe and had it translated so we could carry on the tradition. It is historically made with a sweet pastry dough and walnuts. I have modernized it into this delicious pecan pinwheel soft butter cookie and added a salty caramel glaze.

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Time needed

1 min preparation + 12 min cooking

Serving Size / Yield

24-30 servings


  • Pinwheels:
  • 10 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. brandy extract
  • 2 ½ C. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Filling:
  • ½ C. chopped pecans
  • 1/3 C. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Salty Caramel:
  • 1 C. heavy cream
  • ½ C. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Fleur de Sel finishing salt for Garnish

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1. Beat butter and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla and brandy extract; beat well.  Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.  Slowly add to mixer and beat for 1-2 minutes until completely combined.  Form pinwheel dough into a ball, cover with wax paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
2. Tear off two large sheets of wax paper, about 25” each.  Place dough on top of one sheet and cover with the other.  Roll out to a rectangle 20”x10”.  Lift off top wax paper sheet and cut to form 18”x9” rectangle.  Place dough on top of wax paper to a cutting board or additional sheet pan, just for ease of transferring to the refrigerator later.  Sprinkle pecans, 1/3 cup brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over rectangle.  Next, drizzle honey.  Chill in refrigerator for at 20 minutes.  
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
4. Retrieve pinwheel rectangle.  Starting at one small end, carefully roll up dough.  If dough tears, gently pinch to repair.  When completely rolled, refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.  Slice pinwheel tube into 1/4” slices and place on prepared parchment paper at least 2” apart.  Bake for 12 minutes or until light brown on underside of pinwheels, rotating pans halfway through baking.  Let cool on wire rack. 
5. In small saucepan, bring cream, 1/2 cup brown sugar and corn syrup to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.  Lower heat and simmer with constant bubbling until caramel stage is reached, approximately 11-14 minutes or 200 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Off heat, stir in the 1 tsp. vanilla and transfer to small bowl.
6. Spread 1-2 tsp. of caramel on top of each cooled pinwheel and sprinkle with a pinch of Fleur de Sel. 

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