How to Make Bacon, Bourbon and Hazelnut Cinnamon Buns
Satisfy a Comfort Food Craving
Hedy Goldsmith's classic cinnamon buns are loaded with hazelnuts and savory bacon. Finish the buns with a sweet vanilla-bourbon glaze and enjoy them warm from the oven. You can even use leftover buns to make bread pudding.
Get the Recipe: Bacon, Bourbon and Hazelnut Cinnamon Buns
Prepare the Dough
Prepare a soft dough to use as the base for your cinnamon buns. Once formed, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently knead it by hand for 2 to 3 minutes. The dough should be soft and smooth. Place the dough in a buttered or oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size. This may take 2 to 2 1/2 hours at room temperature.
Prepare the Bacon
Cut the bacon into 1/4-inch pieces and cook in a heavy skillet over medium heat until very crispy but not burnt. Drain off the fat. Finely chop the bacon in a food processor, then place the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until crispy. Let the bacon bits cool on paper towels. Combine the cooled bacon and ground hazelnuts in a bowl and set aside.
Prepare and Add the Brown Butter Filling
Once the dough has doubled in size, dump it onto a floured work surface. Roll it out to an 18-by-20-inch rectangle that's 1 inch thick. Spread the brown butter schmear over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges to help seal the buns, then brush beaten egg over the border.
Add the Hazelnuts and Bacon
Sprinkle some of the bacon-hazelnut mixture over the schmear and pat down so it sticks. Remember to set aside about 3/4 cup of the mixture for sprinkling over the top of the buns. Begin rolling the dough up from the edge closest to you, keeping the roll tight. When you reach the egg-wash part, pinch the dough together to seal the roll.
Cut the Log
Cut the log into 12 pieces, each about 1 3/4 inches wide. Reshape each bun so it's round (cutting tends to flatten one side).
Prepare for Baking
Gently place the buns into the greased muffin tins. Lightly brush the tops with beaten egg and sprinkle with the remaining bacon-hazelnut mixture (about 1 tablespoon per bun). Cover the buns with plastic wrap and set aside to proof again until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Bake the Buns
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F, then place the muffin tins on baking sheets to prevent any filling from dripping onto the oven floor. Bake the buns for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans and continue baking until the buns are golden brown and cooked through, about 12 minutes longer. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing the buns and letting them cool on a wire rack. Drizzle the bourbon glaze generously over the buns.
Hedy Goldsmith is an award-winning pastry chef and author of Baking Out Loud.