Food & Drink

Sweet Rolls with New Orleans Flair

Bourbon, pecan, and coffee flavors combine to make the perfect gooey treat

Photo: Andrew Purcell

“There are some ingredients that were just meant to go together. Here, bourbon, pecans, and coffee all boast loads of rich roasted and toasted aromas, plus the triple-threat taste combo of salty, sweet, and buttery. They’re like a morning on Bourbon Street in New Orleans (but without the hangover).” —James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst in their new cookbook, Flavor for All: Everyday Recipes and Creative Pairings.


  • Bourbon, Pecan, and Coffee Sweet Rolls (Yield: 18 rolls)

    • 1 cup milk

    • One ¼-oz. package active dry yeast

    • 4 tbsp. granulated sugar

    • 3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading

    • 1 tsp. kosher salt

    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

    • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

    • 1 cup packed brown sugar

    • ½ cup chopped pecans

    • 2 tbsp. bourbon

    • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

    • 2 tsp. ground coffee

  • For the icing

    • ½ cup sour cream

    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

    • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Make the rolls: In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, yeast, and 1 tbsp. of the granulated sugar. Set aside for about 5 minutes, until lightly foamed on the surface.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook or in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, the remaining 3 tbsp. granulated sugar, and the salt. Mix well.

  3. Whisk the egg and 4 tbsp. of the melted butter into the yeast mixture. Stir the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with the dough hook, or by hand with a wooden spoon, until a rough dough forms, about 5 minutes.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Lightly oil the bowl and return the dough to it, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for about 30 minutes; the dough should rise by approximately half.

  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tbsp. melted butter, the brown sugar, pecans, bourbon, cinnamon, and coffee until thoroughly combined.

  6. Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a rectangle about 18 x 11 inches. Scatter the brown sugar mixture evenly over the dough, gently pressing to help it hold in place.

  7. Roll the dough along the long side like a jelly roll and pinch the seam together. Transfer the dough to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and freeze for about 15 minutes, for easier cutting. Slice the roll crosswise into 1-inch pieces; you should have 18 pieces. Arrange the cut pieces in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Cover the pan and let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes at room temperature, until the exterior feels puffy and springs back to a light touch. Or refrigerate, covered, overnight and bake the next morning.

  8. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  9. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let the rolls cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn the rolls out onto the rack and cool for 5 minutes more.

  10. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth. Spoon the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls and serve immediately.


  11. TIP: You can make the glaze a day in advance. Cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator. Stir to loosen it before using.

Excerpted from FLAVOR FOR ALL: Everyday Recipes and Creative Pairings © 2020 by James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst. Photography © 2020 by Andrew Purcell. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.