Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Monkey bread for cheaters

I don't mean the kind of cheating exposed by hidden cameras; mine is right out in the open, documented here for all to see and be shocked inspired by.

I grew up with this recipe, which came from my grandmother, I think. It's certainly post-war (WWII), given the ingredients. We called it caramel gooey buns, but I've since learned it's called monkey bread.

I was a little shocked when I learned that people make it from scratch. I wasn't the least bit tempted to try that, when I already have the easiest recipe in the world for it.
Yes, here's what goes into my monkey bread: 18 frozen Rhodes frozen white dinner rolls, half a package of butterscotch pudding powder (the cook 'n' serve variety), 3/4 cup brown sugar, a stick of butter and some chopped pecans.

Spray a bundt pan with Pam and put the pecans in the bottom.

Put in the frozen dinner rolls.

Sprinkle the pudding powder over the rolls. Then melt the butter, mix the sugar into it and pour that over the top.
Let it sit uncovered overnight (I stash it in the microwave to keep nosy dogs at bay). The next day, it will have risen above the top of the pan (below left).
Bake it at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown (above right). It still won't look like much. Leave it sit in the pan for at least five minutes to set up a little (or it will just fall apart on the plate). I inverted this panful onto a platter and let it sit that way for a few minutes before removing the pan.

Five minutes of actual work, and let me tell you, the cow-orkers orked this in about five minutes. Including one member of senior management caught dragging his finger through the goo on the platter after he ate the last piece.

So, five minutes gets you this yumminess, as opposed to the hour it took me to make the caramel pecan rolls (I know, I'm slow, but still). You get 18 evenly sized pieces that are easily pulled off and enjoyed, especially warm from the oven.

Especially by senior managers.


  1. holy cow! So what is occuring that causes the rise? They look like pre-cooked dinner rolls?

  2. It's frozen dinner-roll dough, not precooked. Letting it sit out overnight prompts the rise. That's the main time-saving step; you don't have to make and shape the dough.

    One package has 36 rolls, enough for two batches of monkey bread.

  3. Kitt you are making me obsess about pecans and toffee

  4. Yum! My mom and I made monkey bread when they were here last summer - my nephew and his family came for brunch. We used Poppin Fresh Grands in a can and everyone loved them - but I'm thinking yours probably taste better!!

  5. Kris, I'll have to try it with the Grands. I'm guessing that would make for bigger (grander!) chunks. How many did you use in a batch?

  6. What??!! If you just posted the very last picture and told us it took you 4 hours baking, we totally would have believed you. We're trying it this weekend and will share it with everyone.

  7. i think i'd be dragging my face in the goo. oops.

  8. We used one or two cans - I can't really remember for sure. Divided each big roll into smaller pieces - so not really grander (!) but didn't have to thaw etc so can be done as soon as you realize you MUST HAVE monkey bread. (would have tried to make that sentence longer, but ran out of connecting words, so that's it)

    (Mark works for Elgin sweepers - he loved the photo from the stockmen's (?) parade that showed all the sweepers cleaning up after the horses.)

  9. pinknest, ha!

    Kris, I'll have to try it that way sometime.

    I like using the frozen dough in part because you can put the whole thing together the night before. Perfect if you're having people over for brunch.

  10. Does it taste like butterscotch, or caramel? Because I don't really like butterscotch. But if you tell me it tastes like caramel, I'll believe you. I trust recipes like this.

    Like the one I have for apple dumplings that calls for pouring a can of mountain dew over croissant dough.

  11. Hmmm, you know, I don't really know! It does use butter and brown sugar and butterscotch pudding powder, but to me it doesn't seem all that similar to actual butterscotch like Werther's candies.

    I would say go ahead and try it, and even if you're not greatly enamored of it, everyone else will be. It's best warm out of the oven and served to a crowd.

  12. I should have been more specific. I don't like butterscotch pudding. Because you mentioned Werther's, and I really like those.

    And now that I post this, I realize it's the most piddly conversation I've had! I mean, really! I'm complaining of butterscotch pudding? I need to get a life. :)

    I'll make it when I get some money for groceries. Awesome.

    p.s. I think I'm going to order that bread book from another post (artisan bread in 5 minutes a day?), and get a big container at the restaurant supply place. Yay, bread!


  13. Oh! It tastes nothing like butterscotch pudding! Do try it.

    And Kris, I forgot to comment on Mark's enjoyment of the sweepers. Too funny! I appreciate their monthly sweeps around the neighborhood (as long as I remember to move my car before I get a ticket).

  14. ***pssssst***


    The monk is in the microwave. I repeat, the monk is in the micro. The monkey flies in the morning.


  15. IT'S AWESOME!!!

    I swear, my grandma must have made cheater pecan rolls, because this tastes exactly like her pecan rolls.

    I'm eating it right now! Awesome!