Monday, August 13, 2012

Bacon Jam Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Infused Maple Glaze

Bacon Jam Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Infused Maple Glaze
Yeah, I know... Bacon Jam Cinnamon Rolls. They're too much, right? I get it. For all you purists out there that think this idea is just completely ludicrous. Bacon in cinnamon rolls is weird. But if you are like me and love your bacon sweet, then this is for you. As a kid, I always anticipated breakfast, not because of pancakes or waffles, but for the bacon that just scooted over the edge and got a little hint of excess dripping maple syrup. It was the best part. When I grew older, I started nixing all of the breakfast and brunch sweets for a side of bacon with some syrup for dippin'. Yep, that's the best part and it always will be. Amen. Well, I had seen ideas of layering bacon slices into cinnamon rolls before, so when I made a large batch of bacon jam,  I knew what I had to do... put it in the rolls, y'all! Yes. Wonderful. I thought at first I was just going to spread the bacon jam over the homemade yeast dough, but I decided instead that it would be better suited to beat it into soft butter along with cinnamon and sugar. This bacon jam compound butter was brilliantly perfect because it ensured that the "jamminess" was evenly spread throughout each pastry. And hey, why stop there? Whip this bacon jam compound butter up for shmearing on pancakes or waffles... or better yet, some bacon fat cornbread. Can I get a whoop whoop for that? Whoop whoop. Cheesiness aside, these rolls were dreamy, especially when they are smothered in a Bourbon Infused Maple Glaze. It's official, bourbon-maple-and-bacon is my favorite combination in the whole-damn-world. Let's just get it straight, mmk pumpkin?! But, I will throw this out that you'll probably love this or hate it. And that's okay because we loved 'em and I'm sure you will too. I only made a few changes to my original recipe by omitting the garlic, red pepper flakes, and rosemary from this batch because I thought it would be too weird having those flavors in a cinnamon roll. Feel free to do the same as well!! Enjoy :)
They are soooo big...
And fluffy...
And covered in liquid gold (aka glaze)...
For the Cinnamon Rolls:
2C Whole Milk
½C Vegetable Oil
½C Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean, Split & Scraped for Beans (optional)
1 Package of Active Dry Yeast (0.25oz Packets)
4C AP Flour + ½C AP Flour
½t Baking Powder, Heaping
½t Baking Soda, Scant
½T Salt, Heaping

For the Bacon Jam Compound Butter:
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Softened (like super soft)
1C Sugar
Generous Spoonfuls of Cinnamon (I think we did about 2T, but just taste as you go)
Prepared Homemade Bacon Jam, Room Temperature

For the Homemade Bacon Jam:
1lb Thick-Cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, Cut into 1inch Cubes
1 Medium Vidalia Onion, Sliced
¼C Dark Brown Sugar, Packed
¼C Freshly Brewed Strong Coffee
2T Coca Cola
¼C Balsamic Vinegar
¼C Maple Syrup
2T Bourbon

For the Bourbon Infused Maple Syrup:
1C Pure Maple Syrup (good quality & high grade)
½C Bourbon

For the Frosting:
1lb Confectioners’ Sugar, Sifted
½t Salt
½t Vanilla
6T Unsalted Butter, Melted (or you can use bacon fat)
¾C Homemade Bourbon Infused Maple Syrup
3T Milk, For Thinning (if the mixture seems too thick)
Crispy Bacon Lardons, For Garnishing

1. Mix the milk, oil, sugar, vanilla bean, and vanilla pod in a pot. Heat the mixture until just before the boiling point. Turn off the heat and leave to cool for 45 minutes to an hour. When the mixture is warm (but not hot), remove the vanilla bean pod and sprinkle in the yeast. Let it sit for a minute or two, and then add in the 4C of AP Flour. Stir the mixture and cover, and then let it rise for at least an hour.
2. After rising for an hour, add in ½C AP Flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the mixture together. Refrigerate the dough overnight to help it become firm and better for presentation.
3. For the Homemade Bacon Jam: Bring a deep sauté pan or large pot to medium-high heat. Cook the bacon pieces until the fat begins to render and the edges start to brown, but the bacon is still soft. Drain the rendered bacon fat by setting a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and spooning the meat and rendered fat into the sieve. Let it sit in the sieve while you caramelize the onions. Add the slices onions to the pot, then add in 1T of the rendered fat and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add the brown sugar, coffee, Coke, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup, stir, and bring a light boil. Add the drained bacon and bring back to a light boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low. You want to keep a low, steady simmer to reduce the liquid and thicken it without burning the jam. The process of the reduction can take as long as 1 hour. If the jam becomes too dry, add 1-2T of water. Remove the bacon jam from the heat; add in the bourbon, and let cool for 20-30 minutes. Depending on your preference, you can use it as is or process the jam in a food processor to a less chunky consistency (we like our jam chunky). Once it has cooled, you can put the jam in an airtight container and store it for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
4. For the Bacon Jam Compound Butter: Beat together all of the ingredients until incorporated and fluffy. Add more cinnamon, sugar, or seasonings to your liking. Make sure that this mixture is extremely soft, so that it will be easier to smear onto the tender dough.
5. The next day, sprinkle a rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle, and then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Smear on the Bacon Jam Compound Butter and a little extra sprinkling of cinnamon.
6. Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it. Spread 1T of melted butter into a baking dish. Then, begin cutting the rolls into approximately 1inch thick rounds and lay them into the prepared buttered pans (I made our cinnamon rolls quite large and if you do the same make sure to bump up the cooking time). 
7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
8. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown (longer for larger rolls).
9. To Make the Frosting: Mix together all of the ingredients and stir well until smooth. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls.
10. Serve immediately and enjoy while they are still warm (and maybe with a side of bacon for good measure). 


  1. This sounds amazing! It may not top the red velvet rolls, but anything with bacon in it is already a winner in my book!

    1. Haha, what will ever top the red velvet cinnamon rolls? But I agree... bacon=a winner!!


  2. absolutely sick & wrong. i'm making this asap.