Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Monkey Bread Muffins

Difficult: Nope
Time consuming: not actively - about a half hour to prep (depending on how fast you work), about 30-45 minutes to let the dough rise, then 15 minutes to bake.

Happy spring break fellow teachers, school employees, and/or students!  One of the nicest things about working in a school, besides all my awesome kiddos and fantastic colleagues, is all the breaks we get.   My parents live 4 hours away, so it's really great to get time around the holidays and over the summer to visit them.  Although I'll admit, this spring break definitely felt more like a winter break here in Cincinnati - I think it snowed at least 3 days and has been way to cold to do any real gardening.  You would think that with all this time off, I would've baked something really awesome.  But no.  I did make brownies, which I can't stop eating.  And pinned a bunch of new recipes to try.  Also, I did a ton of cleaning.  I remember when spring break meant going to Boca Raton with my sorority sisters.  Now I'm thrilled to have time to sleep in, deep clean my home, and catch up on episodes of Dance Moms.

Lucky for you, all this free time means another recipe for you! For March's special ed team meeting, I decided to make monkey bread. But I wanted the portions to be more single serving, so I turned to muffins.  I may have let my dough rise a little too much, so they weren't nearly as gooey as they could've been, but they were still doughy and cinnamony and all around delicious.

6 little dough balls in a greased muffin tin, one jumped out and bumped his shin...haha I crack myself up.  Maybe I spend too much time with preschoolers...

I'll admit that I did use prepared frozen dinner rolls instead of making the bread from scratch. I swear I had every intention of being completely home made, but then my car went in for service the day before our meeting and there was no way I'd be able to make bread from scratch. I realize biscuit dough was an option, but all the pictures I saw of monkey bread made with biscuit dough didn't look as good as those made with yeast breads. So I welcomed the help from the frozen food section of Krogers.

I loved that these were individual servings. Anything in mini form is just so cute. It also allowed for an awesome ratio of slightly caramelized sugar outside bits to ridiculously soft inside bites. The cinnamon adds wonderful flavor, and you can add more or less to taste. The glaze drizzled over the top really just knocks all the sweet goodness of the bread onto another level.  Other blogs have also suggested using a cream cheese glaze or just sweetened condensed milk over top.  If anyone tries those, I'd love to hear how they turn out!

The recipe
Yields 24 muffins


Monkey Bread
24 Rhodes dinner rolls, or generic equivalent; *thawed but still cold
1 stick butter, melted (possibly more)
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1 1/2 - 2 cups brown sugar
6-8 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups powered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Spray 24 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.

2.  Combine butter and corn syrup in a bowl, set aside. In a medium sized bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon, set aside.  (I ended up using 1 3/4 cup brown sugar and 7 teaspoons of cinnamon; you may need more or less - just make sure to use 1 teaspoon of cinnamon per 1/4 cup of sugar)

3.  Cut each dinner roll into 6 pieces.  Dip pieces of roll into butter (about 6-10 at a time), then transfer to sugar mixture.  Toss to coat.  Put 6 pieces of dough per muffin cup.  Repeat until all the dough has been buttered and sugared.

4.  Spray plastic wrap with nonstick spray and cover each muffin tin.  Let sit in a warm part of your kitchen until the dough has doubled in size.  Try not to let it rise more than double - they'll still turn out but they won't be as soft and doughy nor will the pieces stick to each other the best they could.  While they are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

5.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating pans at around 10 minutes if oven doesn't heat evenly.

6.  Remove from oven, let rest in pan for at least 10 minutes (do not cool completely in pan), then turn out onto a cooling rack.

7.  Prepare glaze by whisking all ingredients together.  Add more milk if you want it thinner, more sugar if you want it thicker.  Pour into a zip top bag, snip off the corner, then drizzle over the monkey bread.

*An easy way to thaw dough: move rolls from freezer to fridge for 8-12 hours before baking.  Or follow the directions on the package.

Recipe From Muffin Top Mommy

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