Food & Drink

Gelson's gators

FOR THE DOUGH:1/2 envelope dry yeast 1 cup warm (105 to 110 degrees) milk divided 3 tablespoons sugar1 1/2 teaspoons salt 3 tablespoons melted butter2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup softened butter

FOR THE FILLING: 1 cup sugar 3/4 cup almond paste 3/4 cup butter 1/4 cup honey 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups ground pecans

FOR THE ICING: 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup butter 1 cups confectioners' sugar

TO FINISH: 1 egg, beaten About 60 pecan halves

Makes 2 alligators, 8 servings each.

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 sugar, salt, melted butter, remaining milk and the yeast mixture. Gradually beat in the 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.

Make the filling: Blend the sugar, almond paste, butter and honey into a paste. Toss the ground pecans with the 1 tablespoon flour and fold into the paste. (Makes about 2 cups.)

Finish: Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Using 1 portion at a time, roll dough as thinly as possible into an 18-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 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. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat the maple syrup and butter until butter melts. Stir in the confectioners sugar until smooth. (Makes about 1 cup.)

Bake alligators for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. While still hot, drizzle tops with the maple icing.

Nutritional information per serving (based on 16): 568 calories (58 percent from fat), 37.5 g fat (15.8 g saturated, 14.3 g monounsaturated), 73.9 mg cholesterol, 5.6 g protein, 56.4 g carbohydrates, 2.6 g fiber, 642.9 mg sodium.QUESTION: I have lost my recipe for pickled green tomatoes made with grape or "Tommy Toe" tomatoes. I think it was in an old Junior League cookbook, perhaps from Memphis. These are great with cocktails.