1/2 package dry yeast
1 cup warm milk (105 to 110 degrees F) , divided
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
60 pecan halves
1 cup sugar
1 (7 ounce) package almond paste
3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups ground pecans
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup butter
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Alligator Filling: Blend together sugar, almond paste, butter and honey to form smooth paste. Fold in flour, then pecans.
Makes about 2 cups.
Maple Icing: Heat maple syrup and butter in small saucepan until butter melts. Add sugar, blending until smooth. Makes about 1 cup.
Dough: Mix yeast with about 1/2 cup warm milk. Add sugar, salt, 3 tablespoons melted butter, remaining 1/2 cup warm milk and flour. Mix well. Knead to make smooth dough 6 to 8 minutes. Let dough rest 30 minutes.
Roll out on floured board into large rectangle. Spread top with 1/4 cup softened butter. Fold dough into thirds. Repeat 3 more times, using 1/4 cup butter each time, and allowing dough to rest 30 minutes before filling.
Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Using 1 portion at time, roll dough as thinly as possible into 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 Alligator Filling on entire surface of dough, then fold lengthwise in thirds. Place on lightly greased baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Decorate top with about 30 to 40 pecan halves. Let rest 15 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
While still hot, drizzle top with half of Maple Icing. Repeat with second portion of dough.
Makes 2 alligators.