In 2015, a conversation with a member of my Civil Air Patrol unit sparked the idea of bacon cinnamon rolls. We all thought it sounded like a fantastic idea, but I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t want to ruin a great thing. (Anyone who has tasted my cinnamon rolls would understand.)
Earlier this year, the topic of the “Rick Rolls” (named after the man who inspired me to give them a try) came up again. I kept saying, “Yeah, I’m gonna have to try that,”, but I hadn’t had an excuse to make cinnamon rolls. Since life tends to give us what we need though, I had a chance to try the bacon cinnamon rolls for the first time last week, and it was unanimous. The “rick Rolls” are amazing!
I based my bacon cinnamon rolls on the Perfect Cinnamon Rolls recipe that I’ve been using for ages. Here’s how I did it.
Ingredients — Dough
- 1 c water
- 1/4 c heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 c sugar
- 5 c bread flour
- 1 tbsp yeast
Ingredients — Bacon Cinnamon Filling
- 1 stick salted butter, melted
- 4 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 c brown sugar
- 1/2 c real bacon bits
Ingredients — Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 8oz brick cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
- 4 c powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
Note: The icing recipe is a quadruple batch because I almost never make just one batch of cinnamon rolls. If I don’t end up using all the icing though, I’ve put it in the fridge and it keeps for a while there. I haven’t tried freezing it though.
The link to the original recipe has fantastic directions for making the cinnamon rolls. I’ve used a bread machine to make the dough and I’ve used my stand mixer and dough hook to make the dough. Both methods work well. I have noticed though that if I use the “spoon and level” method for measuring the bread flour, I always have to add extra bread flour. I’m fine with that though. I’d personally rather start out with a dough that’s too wet.
When it comes to making the actual cinnamon rolls though, I do things a little differently. I lay out a large piece of heavy duty foil on my counter and I grease it with some of the butter that was left over in one of the wrappers that I used in the recipe. Then, I make my dough rectangle on the foil and I mix the cinnamon, brown sugar, and bacon bits together with my hands in a medium bowl. Next, I spread the melted butter on the dough rectangle with my hands, and I sprinkle the bacon/cinnamon/brown sugar mixture on top. I make that part even with my hands too. It sounds messy, I know, but I find it easiest.
By making the dough rectangle on foil, it makes it really easy to roll the dough. I start by picking up the long edge of foil that’s closest to me and fold it away from me so that the dough overlaps itself by a couple inches. Then I carefully remove the foil from the dough that I just folded onto itself so I can finish rolling it. When the dough has been rolled so that there’s only two or three inches of dough and filling left at the part that’s farthest away from me, I use the long edge of the foil on the other side to help me finish the roll. I pull it up and toward me so that the dough and filling are brought up and over the roll that’s already been made. Then just like I did in the beginning, I carefully remove the foil from the top of the roll so I can pinch the seam and finish the roll.
The original recipe claims that you can fit all these rolls in a 13″x9″ baking pan, but I’ve never been able to do that. I usually get 15 rolls out of a batch and I rise and bake them in disposable steam table pans that I get from Sam’s Club.
I don’t understand why folks are intimidated by making cinnamon rolls. Once you’ve done it a time or two, you get a rythm and discover that it’s really pretty easy. It helps, of course, when you’re using a great recipe, and this recipe definitely qualifies!