Make a million-dollar dessert

Updated: Sunday, November 18, 2012, 3:30 PM

Tina Verrelli of Devon rolled out Pillsbury crescent dough in sheet form, cut it into ravioli, filled the squares with pumpkin pie-like filling and baked them until golden.

Verrelli then wanted to replicate the dipping sauce of a favorite dessert: fried doughnuts dipped in chocolate. But the chocolate was too heavy. She knew salted caramel was a popular, but still heavy. So she drizzled a little caramel syrup in whipped cream and added a sprinkle of pecans.

The result - Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream - won her $1 million in the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest in March.

Pumpkin Ravioli With Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

Makes 12 servings

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup sugar

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/3 cup chopped pecans, finely chopped

2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/8 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons Hershey's caramel syrup

4 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 large cookie sheets with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter.

2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until smooth.

3. Add egg yolk, vanilla, sugar, 3 tablespoons of flour, and pumpkin pie spice; beat on low speed until blended.

4. Reserve 4 teaspoons of the pecans; set aside. Stir remaining pecans into pumpkin mixture.

5. Lightly sprinkle work surface with 1 tablespoon of the flour. Unroll 1 can of dough on floured surface with a short side facing you. Press dough into 14-by-12-inch rectangle. With paring knife, lightly score the dough in half horizontally. Lightly score bottom half of dough into 12 squares (3-by-2-by-1/4-inch each).

6. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the pumpkin filling onto center of each square. Gently lift and position unscored half of dough over filling. Starting at the top folded edge, press handle of wooden spoon firmly between mounds and along edges of pumpkin filling to seal.

7. Using toothpick, poke a small hole in the top of each ravioli. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut between each ravioli; place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon flour, dough sheet, and filling. Brush ravioli with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.

8. Bake 9 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat whipping cream and salt with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the caramel syrup until stiff peaks form. Transfer to serving bowl; cover and refrigerate.

10. Remove ravioli from oven. Sprinkle ravioli with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar; turn. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.

11. To serve, place 2 ravioli on each of 12 dessert plates. Drizzle each serving with a scant teaspoon of the caramel syrup; sprinkle with reserved chopped pecans. With spoon, swirl remaining 1 tablespoon caramel syrup into bowl of whipped cream. Serve warm ravioli with whipped cream.

- From Christina Verrelli, winner of the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off contest

Per serving: 325 calories, 5 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams sugar, 21 grams fat, 57 milligrams cholesterol, 427 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber

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