Apricot-Pecan Hot Cross Buns
- In a large mixing bowl stir together 1-1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a saucepan heat the 3/4 cup apricot nectar, the margarine or butter, sugar, and salt until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F), stirring constantly. Add to flour mixture along with eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
- Reserve 4 or 5 dried apricots; snip remaining apricots. Using a spoon, stir the snipped apricots and pecans into the dough. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise until double (about 1-1/2 hours).
- Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough into 20 portions; shape into smooth balls. Arrange balls 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until almost double (30 to 45 minutes).
- Brush dough with egg white. Bake in a 350* oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks. Snip reserved apricots into 40 thin slivers. Combine sifted powdered sugar and enough apricot nectar (about 1 tablespoon) to make an icing of drizzling consistency. Using a spoon, top each bun with an X of icing; decorate each X with 2 apricot slivers. Makes 20 rolls.
From the Test Kitchen
Bake rolls as directed; cool thoroughly. Do not add Apricot Icing. Place in a freezer container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, thaw, covered , overnight in the refrigerator. Top with Apricot Icing and apricots.