MAKES 8 ROLLS 4 HOURS
For the Dough
1 (1⁄4-oz.) package active dry yeast
1⁄4 cup plus 1⁄2 tsp. sugar
1⁄2 cup milk, at room temperature
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 3⁄4 cups flour, sifted, plus more for kneading
3⁄4 tsp. fine salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
For the Filling and Serving
1⁄4 cup dark brown sugar
1⁄4 cup currents
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. cardamom
1⁄2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. maple syrup
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 egg beaten for brushing rolls
½ cup crushed pistachios
Make the dough: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a hook, combine yeast, 1⁄2 tsp. of the sugar, and 1⁄4 cup water heated to 115°. Stir to combine and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining sugar, milk, light brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Beat on low speed until thoroughly combined, 1 minute. Turn mixer off and add the flour,salt, and cardamom. Mix on medium speed until the dough just comes together. Turn mixer speed to high and knead dough for 4 minutes. Add the butter and continue kneading until dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 6 minutes. Remove bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place. Let the dough rise for 1 1⁄2–2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine the sugar, dark brown sugar, pecans, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a large bowl; stir to combine. Stir in the maple syrup. Set filling aside.
Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a heavily floured surface. Gently knead the dough until it's no longer sticky, adding more flour as necessary, about 1 minute. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10" x 10" square. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese with a rubber spatula until it's smooth and spreadable. Spread the cream cheese evenly over the dough square; then fold square into thirds as you would fold a letter to fit it into an envelope. Take the open ends of the resulting rectangle and fold into thirds again, to make a smaller dough square. Invert the dough so that the seam is face down and, using the rolling pin, gently roll into a 10" x 20" rectangle.
Turn the dough so that the short sides are parallel to you. Brush the top of the dough with beaten egg. Drizzle the reserved filling over the dough, leaving a 1" border at the edge farthest away from you. Lightly press the filling into the dough. Cut 8 pieces length ways and for each piece in half. Twist each piece around two fingers and then wrap into a knot. Nestle the slices, cut sides up and evenly spaced from one another, into a buttered 9" x 13" light-colored metal baking pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to let rise for 2 hours. (Alternatively, the rolls may be refrigerated overnight.)
Heat oven to 375°. Uncover the rolls. (If refrigerated, let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.) Sprinkle with pistachios before baking. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the rolls comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Can be served as is or can be drizzled with Glaze (recipe follows)
2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
¼ Cup Milk
Mix ingredients till there are no lumps and glaze like consistency.