We're butter pecan fanatics, so it only seems fitting that one of our favorite "splurge" breakfast treats are Butter Pecan Cinnamon Buns! They're just like classic cinnamon rolls, but with a TONS of crunchy, gooey, chopped pecans on top. Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning!
Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
In a small saucepan carefully heat the milk over medium-high just until it comes to a boil.Remove from heat and add in the butter. Stir until it is completely melted, then let mixture cool until it's between 115 and 120 degrees (F).
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine 2 and 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt; use a whisk to combine. Whisk in the egg. And then slowly pour in the milk/butter mixture, mixing well to combine.
Place to dough hook into the bowl and turn the mixer on low speed. Add the remaining flour, a 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, and using a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed.
Once all of the flour has been added, increase the mixer to medium speed and beat for 5 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough into a smooth and neat ball, about 5 or 6 times.
Place the ball of dough back into the bowl and cover the bowl tightly with a piece of saran wrap. Set aside for 60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
For the Filling:
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together brown sugar, spices, and softened butter until its evenly combined. It should resemble a thick paste.
Once the dough has risen - roll out dough into a very large rectangle (about 16 x 9-inches).
Spread the middle of the dough with the butter/sugar mixture, leaving a three inch barrier around the tops and sides.
Tightly roll up the dough (jellyroll style) and gently pinch the seams to seal.
Using unscented dental floss (just gently slide a piece underneath, lift it over, then pull to make nice, even slices) or a serrated knife, cut the roll into 12 equal size pieces.
Place the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared pan. Cover again tightly with saran wrap, and let rise for another 30 minutes. While they’re rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F).
Once risen, bake in the preheated oven for 18 – 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the tops and edges. Allow buns to cool a few minutes, then top with butter pecans and serve!
For the Butter Pecans:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add in the brown sugar and cook, stirring with a whisk, until the sugar has melted and mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes.
Add in the cinnamon, heavy cream, and salt and whisk to combine.
Add in the pecans and, using a rubber spatula, fold them into the liquid mixture until they're completely coated. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.