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heart-shaped cinnamon-sugar buns
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Step 1

In a large bowl, heat milk and water until warm - about 30 seconds in the microwave should do. Add the yeast and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Whisk together until thoroughly combined and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Step 2

Add the remaining granulated sugar and the rest of the dough ingredients (butter through egg) to the milk mixture, stirring everything until it comes together to form a shaggy ball. Then knead the dough by hand (or with a dough hook attachment) until it’s smooth and elastic - this will take about 10 minutes (or less if using a stand mixer). Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rise for 3½ hours.

Step 3

While the dough rises, heat a small fry pan over medium-high heat. Add pecans and toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Remove nuts from pan; let cool and chop.

Step 4

In a small bowl, combine the sugars, cinnamon and pecans. Set aside.

Step 5

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 6

After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into 12 equal pieces. Gently shape each piece into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Step 7

Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a circle, about 6 inches in diameter. Brush one side of the dough with butter and sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons filling; roll it up into a log. Pinch the ends together, forming a teardrop-shaped loop.

Step 8

Lay the loop in the palm of one hand. Using kitchen shears, carefully cut the loop in half widthwise leaving the point of the loop intact. Open up the two halves to form a heart and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.

Step 9

Lightly cover buns with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.

Step 10

When buns have almost finished rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 11

Remove plastic wrap from buns and brush tops with egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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