Bacon and Cookie Dough Cinnamon Rolls

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There’s nothing I love more on a Saturday morning than brunch. I think it’s one of my favorite things about the weekend. I’m a big fan of cinnamon rolls, and have seen a lot of tasty looking variations lately. I decided to try out two twists on the classic cinnamon roll – cookie dough cinnamon rolls, and bacon cinnamon rolls. I used the same dough and filling for both types, which is a Cinnabon copy cat recipe. It included:

Dough:
3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast {use the fast acting kind!}
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 egg
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 1/2-5 cups all purpose unbleached flour

Filling:
1/2 cup softened margarine
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Frosting:
2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup softened margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Add ins:

1 lb bacon

cookie dough (I used my favorite recipe, and made it the night before)

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I was really excited about these cinnamon rolls, so I got up early (yes, I’m a morning person) and made the dough. In a large bowl, I poured the in water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. I stirred this around and let it proof for about 5 minutes. Once mixture looked bubbly and frothy, I poured in the remaining sugar and salt. I mixed it at a low speed for about 15-20 seconds. In a separate bowl, I added the buttermilk, oil and egg. I whisked the ingredients together until the egg was incorporated with the other ingredients. I poured the contents into the water and yeast mixture, and stirred for another 20 seconds with my hand mixer. I then poured in 2 of the cups of flour and stirred on low until everything was incorporated. Then I sprinkled the rest of the flour in by 1/4 cup increments until the dough cleaned the sides and bottom of the bowl. The dough should be sticky but not sticky enough to stick to your hands when touched.

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Once it had reached this stage, I kneaded the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes. I then greased the large bowl I had previously used and set the dough inside to proof. I covered it with plastic wrap and a dish towel, and let it rise for about 2 hours (until dough had doubled in size).

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While the dough was proofing, I made the filling. In a medium size bowl,  I stirred together the brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch until combined.I floured my large cookie sheet liberally with flour, and lightly floured dough as well. I made a sample batch first, just big enough to make 4 cinnamon rolls. However, if you want to make all the cinnamon rolls at once, roll the dough out into a 20×30 rectangle while moving dough around to ensure it’s not sticking to the surface. If it’s a little short or uneven, you can always cut off the edges to even it out. I then spread softened butter over the dough, leaving a 1-inch strip untouched on one of the longer sides of dough.

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I dumped the brown sugar mixture onto the middle of the dough and spread it out with my hands, creating an even layer over top of the butter, still leaving a 1-inch strip of dough untouched. I lightly pressed the sugar mixture into the butter using a rolling pin, and then added the bacon and cookie dough. I cooked the bacon for 2-3 minutes, so that it was partially cooked but still pliable. I rolled out the cookie dough into a very thin rectangle (1/4 inch thick), and placed it on top of the cinnamon sugar.

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I rolled the dough up into a tight log, finishing with the plain dough on the bottom to seal the log together. I scored the log every 2 inches and then sliced the rolls using those marks. Make sure to use a sharp knife. I put the rolls into a pan lined with greased parchment paper, leaving about an inch between each roll. I let the cut rolls rise for another hour, until they  had risen almost double. I made the frosting while the rolls were rising, and whipped the cream cheese and butter together. Next I stirred in the vanilla, corn syrup and lemon juice, and then mixed in the powdered sugar.

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The cinnamon rolls took about 30 minutes at 350 degrees to start to brown, and I frosted them immediately once they came out of the oven.

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As good as the cookie dough cinnamon rolls were, the star of the show was the bacon cinnamon rolls. In my mind, nothing beats a salty sweet combination.

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