Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan and dust it with flour, knocking out the excess flour.
5 slices Maple-Flavored or Applewood-Smoked Bacon (diced)
Cook the bacon in a medium-size skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and most of the fat is rendered, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often and adjusting the heat as necessary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (plus flour for dusting the baking pan)
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
pinch of Salt
8 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (at room temperature; cut into 1-inch pieces; plus butter for greasing the baking pan)
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
2 large Eggs
2 tablespoons Bourbon
1 1/2 teaspoons Maple or Pure Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup well-shaken Buttermilk
Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Place the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer or in a large mixing bowl and beat with a standing mixer or a hand-held mixer at medium speed until well creamed, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 tablespoon of the bourbon, and the maple or vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the buttermilk and beat until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the side of the bowl. The buttermilk mixture will appear curdled.
1 medium-size Granny Smith Apple (peeled; cored and diced; about 1 cup)
Add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture, one half at a time, beating on low speed until just incorporated. Stir the apple and all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of the drained bacon into the batter, setting aside the remaining bacon for topping the coffee cake.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake the coffee cake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the coffee cake to a wire rack and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, invert the coffee cake onto the rack so that it is right side up and let it cool to room temperature before glazing it.
1/2 cup Confectioners' Sugar
2 teaspoons Heavy (Whipping) Cream or Half-and-Half
1/4 cup lightly toasted coarsely chopped Pecans
While the coffee cake cools, place the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream or half-and-half, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of bourbon in a medium-size mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Place the cooled cake on a serving platter and sprinkle the pecans and the remaining bacon over it. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze back and forth over the pecans and bacon. Let the glaze set for about 30 minutes before cutting the coffee cake into 2-inch squares. The coffee cake can be stored in a covered container for 2 to 3 days.
1. Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients in two parts to prevent lumping.
2. You can substitute vanilla extract if you do not have maple.
3. The apples can be shredded or cubed.
4. The bacon should only be moderately crispy because you don’t want it to affect the texture of the cake.