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Pecan Sticky Buns with Bacon Caramel

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 12 buns
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Ingredients

1 pound bacon

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar 

1/4 cup pure maple syrup 

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter 

One 17.25-ounce box puff pastry 

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a 12-cup muffin tin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Line 2 additional baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  2. Lay the bacon slices on the baking sheets lined with foil. Bake until almost crispy, but not quite done, about 18 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour the bacon fat into a small pot. Once the bacon is cool, crumble into small pieces.
  3. Place the pot over medium-low heat. Add 1 cup brown sugar and cook, whisking frequently, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. (The mixture will look granular.) Slowly stream in the maple syrup and whisk vigorously as the mixture begins to bubble. Once syrup comes together, add the cream and kosher salt. Remove from the heat and whisk until all of the cream is incorporated. Reserve until ready to use.
  4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Unfold both sheets of puff pastry and arrange the sheets so that the fold lines run parallel to the counter edge. Generously brush the sheets with the melted butter. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the buttered sheets. Sprinkle 1/2 cup crumbled bacon and some of the chopped pecans over the pastry. Gentle press the bacon and nuts into the sugar mixture with your palms. Roll the pastry away from you, forming 2 tight logs. Use a serrated knife to cut each log into 6 equal pieces.
  5. Pour 1 tablespoon of the bacon caramel into each muffin cup. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon each crumbled bacon and chopped pecans. Place sticky buns cut-side into caramel in each muffin cup and gently press down, maintaining the round shape.
  6. Bake until the caramel bubbles and the buns are deeply golden brown, about 35 minutes. Work quickly to release the sides of the buns from the muffin cups, using a small knife. Carefully invert the muffin tin onto another baking sheet. Spoon any caramel that remains in the muffin tin over the buns. Serve immediately.