These decadent brunch treats feature bacon and a whiskey custard. If you prefer, leave out the meat and serve these up for dessert any time of the day.
By / Photography By D. Lucas Landis | February 15, 2014


Add the milk to the yeast and allow to proof until spongy. In a large mixing bowl, place the butter, maple syrup, sugar, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and bacon. Beat with an electric mixer or by hand with a whisk. Add the flour 1 cup at a time until you have a nice soft dough. Lay out on a floured work surface and knead the dough for 4–5 minutes, until it is stretchy and soft and will bounce back if your finger is pressed into it. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise until double (about 1–2 hours). Roll the dough out on a floured work surface until it is about ¼ inch. Cut with a small cookie cutter or biscuit cutter (about 2 inches across). Lay these on a piece of wax paper, cover lightly with another piece of wax paper and allow them to rest for 35–40 minutes. In a pan on the stove or a deep fat fryer, place the oil and bring to 300°.

Meanwhile, place powdered sugar in a brown paper bag and set aside. Cook each donut about 2 minutes on a side. Remove from the oil and place on a baking rack to drain for about 1 minute. Then place the donuts in the bag, close the top and shake until they are covered with the sugar. Remove from the bag and return to the cooling rack.

After the donuts have cooled completely, use a chopstick to poke a hole in each donut. Use a metal tip and pastry bag to fill each donut with the whiskey custard*. (If you made the custard ahead, allow it to come to room temperature before filling the donuts.)


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Whiskey Custard

Use this custard to fill donuts or layer cakes, or simply eat it by the spoonful after it comes off of the stovetop. (I have tried all three and highly recommend each option.)


  • ¾ cup warm milk (between 110° and 115°)
  • Scant 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 ounces butter (4 tablespoons or ½ stick), melted
  • ⅛ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 ounces bacon (about 1½ slices), cooked and finely chopped, optional
  • 33–40 ounces oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar
  • 3½–4 cups flour
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