Food always seems to bring people together in wonderful ways, whether they be via tasty recipe exchanges, choice dining recommendations, or helpful cooking tips—the global food community grows every single day! One of the latest and greatest additions to this community is the TODAY Food Club (TFC), an online network on TODAY.com that unites the TODAY family, chefs, and home cooks everywhere by sharing creative meal ideas and plans, recipes, “hacks,” and beyond, all for the sake of great eating.
To celebrate the launch, they’ve posed two open challenges for members—and you know Foodbeast loves a good challenge. That’s why our very own Foodbeast Chef Ashley “Guzie” Guzman has taken her mother’s recipe for sticky buns and added her own personal touch for TFC’s Family Favorites challenge.
Growing up, Guzie’s family would enjoy sweet and sticky cinnamon rolls every year around the holidays like Thanksgiving. Now as a pastry chef, she was inspired to combine the family favorite with flavors of pumpkin purée and glorious, brown sugar-coated bacon bits to create amazingly delicious Pumpkin And Candied Bacon Sticky Buns! You bet she’s made her mama proud. See the recipe below.
You too can create and submit your own original posts for one of the two open challenges by signing up for the TODAY Food Club. You’ll also have the chance to win TFC’s Ultimate Cookware Giveaway sweepstakes (see details below) and enjoy these perks:
- Be featured on TODAY.com, the TODAY show, in our newsletter and social channels
- Have your writing read by thousands of others
- Earn contributor badges for your website and become a TODAY insider
- Cook along with Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Siri Pinter and learn from our team of food experts
- Get our weekly newsletter featuring the best tips and recipes from the community
- Simplify cooking with our 5-day meal plan and shopping list delivered to your inbox weekly
- Access exclusive sweepstakes, special offers and must-have deals
One lucky TODAY Food Club Member will win:
- An all expenses paid trip to NYC
- Behind-the-scenes access at a TODAY cooking segment
- $3,000-worth of must-have Zwilling cookware and J.A. Henkels cutlery
*Promotion ends November 30th. For your chance to win, make sure you sign up and become a TFC member!
Ashley Guzman’s Pumpkin & Candied Bacon Sticky Buns
1 can pre-made cinnamon roll dough
1 medium pumpkin
Pumpkin spices (Nutmeg, Allspice, Cinnamon, Ginger)
1) Preheat oven to 350F.
2) Slice pumpkin in half. Remove seeds and pulp and reserve for another use. Coat inside and outside of pumpkin lightly with vegetable oil. Place pumpkin halves on sheet tray, with the hollow sides face-down. Oven bake in 15-minute increments, rotating pan at each interval. When pumpkin can easily be pierced with a fork, remove and let cool.
3) While pumpkin is cooling, line bacon on a sheet tray and sprinkle brown sugar evenly on each slice. Bake in oven until bacon is crispy and sugar has caramelized.
4) Remove bacon from oven, reserve fat drippings, and set aside. Allow bacon to cool. Once bacon has cooled, chop into bite-size pieces (about 1cm wide).
5) Once pumpkin is cool to touch, use a spoon to scoop the flesh away from the outer skin. Season with pumpkin spices and purée in a food processor. To loosen the flesh, add milk to the purée ¼ cup at a time until it is loose enough to move within the food processor, but still thick enough to hold shape.
6) Release cinnamon roll dough from its can and roll out onto a clean surface.
7) Using a spoon or offset spatula, spread pumpkin purée evenly onto the dough.
8) Sprinkle a portion of the candied bacon on top of the pumpkin purée, but make sure to reserve enough to top the finished rolls.
9) Re-roll the cinnamon dough to make the buns, and line them up side by side in a baking dish. Bake as directed in the packaging instructions.
10) While sticky buns are baking, whisk together the powdered sugar and enough milk in a bowl to make a thick paste, which will be a frosting to top the sticky buns. Add enough bacon fat to make the mixture the texture of glue and whisk until shiny and smooth. Reserve.
11) Once buns are finished baking, remove from oven and cover with the bacon frosting mixture while they are still warm. Top with reserved bacon pieces.
12) Allow to cool. When ready to serve, warm in oven or microwave and enjoy!
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