This recipe comes from Faye, a women whom Shane used to work with. Faye's monkey bread never failed to be appreciated -- and devoured -- when she brought it in to work.
This isn't your typical monkey bread recipe. Faye's recipe is closer to caramel cinnamon rolls, all grouped together for a delicious, sticky unravelling. For starters, the based is a comprised of pre-made cinnamon and dinner rolls. (I preferred the soft, yielding consistency of the cinnamon roll dough to the chewy, bread-like feel of the dinner rolls, so I now use solely cinnamon roll dough -- the recipe below reflects this change.) Nor is the dough rolled in cinnamon sugar, but topped with a caramel sauce and butterscotch pudding mix. (OK, I was dubious of the pudding too, but it gets completely absorbed into the caramel during baking, and adds another dimension of flavor.)
Kian, Sadie & I decided to bake some up yesterday. (Is there be a better way to spend a cool and rainy summer afternoon?) It was a really great activity; the kids were doubly invested in baking because A) they'd had monkey bread before (though not Faye's) and loved it and B) they were actively involved in the baking process.
It's sort of funny how surprised they got a little things I don't usually take notice of: the way butter looks when it melts over a medium flame, the sand-like color and texture of brown sugar, the enhancement of flavors when just a little vanilla is added, the way yeast breads double in size when they're allowed to sit in a warm, draft-free spot.
The end result baked up beautifully and looks impressive, crowned with pecans and dripping with caramel sauce. We happily pulled it apart eaten by all of us with tall glasses of milk. It's completely satisfying and very filling.
BIG thanks to Faye for sharing her recipe!
Monkey bread: after we attacked .
Faye's Monkey Bread
The only adjustment is the addition of vanilla.
1/2 cup pecans (optional)
1 package. frozen Rhodes cinnamon rolls quartered
1 pkg. instant butterscotch pudding mix (regular size, not larger size)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Liberally grease a large bundt pan. Spread pecans evenly on the bottom of the pan, and top with the frozen rolls. Sprinkle pudding mix over the rolls.
In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat, stirring to prevent burning. Reduce heat to low and add brown sugar, milk, and vanilla. Continue stirring until the mixture does not separate. Pour over frozen rolls. Cover bundt pan with plastic, place in a warm, draft free place, and let rise as directed on package. Bake at 350-degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until the top is brown and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Invert onto a large plate (you may need to gently loosen the bread from the sides of the pan) and serve warm.