I recently attended a party where one of the guests brought cinnamon rolls topped with bacon. These were simple packaged “slice and bake” rolls that you find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store with crumbled bacon sprinkled on top. They inspired me to create a homemade version of my own with the bacon actually rolled inside. I also wanted to add pecans since my parents sent me a bumper crop of them from their yard that I’ve kept frozen for a special occasion. Lastly, I wanted them a bit oversized so they really make a statement on a plate. The result are pretty decadent cinnamon, bacon, pecan filled treats topped with a maple cream cheese icing and a few more pecans. These rolls are very rich and definitely a “special occasion” dish for a holiday breakfast or brunch.
Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
makes 12 large rolls
2 pkg Active Dry Yeast
2 tbl All-Purpose Four
1 tbl Sugar
3/4 cu Water, about 110 degrees
6 cu All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cu Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 lg Eggs, beaten
6 tbl Butter, melted
3/4 cu Milk, room temperature
3/4 cu Sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
2 tbl Ground Cinnamon
12 slices Maple Flavored Bacon, cooked but not too crisp (you can use a full package, 1lb, if you like)
1 1/4 cu Pecans, roughly chopped
6 tbl Butter
4 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
4 tbl Butter, melted
1 1/2 cu confectioners Sugar
2 tsp Milk
2 tsp Maple Syrup
9”x13” Baking Dish
Mix together yeast, 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a medium sized bowl. Stir in warm water and set aside for 10 minutes while yeast activates. Mixture will start to bubble and expand.
Meanwhile, combine flour with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and stir in eggs, followed by melted butter and then milk. Add yeast mixture and combine into a dough. Roll dough onto a lightly floured board and knead it for about 10 minutes. Melt about 1/2 tablespoon of butter into a large bowl. Roll dough in the butter to coat all sides. Cover with a cloth and let dough rise for 1 1/2 hours.
To prepare filling, combine 1 cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside. Roughly chop cooked bacon and set aside. Melt butter so that it can be spread with a pasty brush and set aside.
After dough has risen, punch it down and roll it out on a lightly floured large work surface to a 15” x 20” rectangle. Using a pastry brush, spread about 1/4 of the melted butter onto the exposed surface of the dough. Cover the butter with the sugar-cinnamon mixture, leaving about 1/2” uncovered along one 20” side. Cover the sugar-cinnamon mixture with the chopped bacon and 3/4 cup the pecans, again leaving the 1/2” strip uncovered. Starting along the 20” side opposite the 1/2” uncovered strip, roll the dough around the filling, keeping it as tight as possible without overly stretching it. Pinch the long end into the dough to seal the log together. Roll it seam side down and slice it into 12 equal pieces.
Bruch another 1/4 of the melted butter onto the bottom and sides of the baking dish. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar on the buttered surface. Place the slices into the pan, cut sides up, and evenly spaced. Brush them with the remaining butter. Cover the rolls and let them rise for an additional 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
After 45 minutes, place rolls in the oven on a baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
Just before rolls come out of the oven, prepare the icing. Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar, milk and maple syrup and blend until creamy. If icing is too thick, add another teaspoon of milk. Spread icing over hot cinnamon rolls and top with remaining pecans. An easy method for spreading the icing is to put it in a disposable bag and cut a small hole in one corder. Squeeze the icing in circles on top of each roll. Then, us the back of spoon to spread even further. Serve warm.