Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monkey Pecan Sticky Cinnamon Rolls

I woke up at 5:00 and couldn't get back to sleep. I don't know why, I just couldn't.  For some reason I started thinking about cinnamon rolls.  Probably because I have no business eating anything like that until I lose 10 pounds.  I grabbed my phone and started surfing around looking at recipes, trying not to wake Lee.  I like pecan sticky buns, too.  Oh, and then I ended up looking at monkey bread recipes.  You know, the round balls of dough rolled in butter and cinnamon sugar and baked in a pan.  Then you pull off bits of buttery deliciousness and eat them with your fingers.

But I shouldn't be eating anything like that.  An neither should you.  At least until March.  Or April.

You know, I still have a few balls of frozen yeast rolls in the freezer.  I wonder if I could make something with cinnamon sugar and nuts using them.  That way I don't have to wait for the dough to rise twice.  And once again my semi-serious intention to stop eating baked items has bitten the dust.

But, think about this.  We are starting a B&B, as soon as the county decides to give us the final go ahead.  And I will be required to feed people delicious breakfasts.  So this is market research.  All prep work for that future business.  Due diligence, as it were.

Because I fused monkey bread, cinnamon rolls and pecan sticky buns together I had a hard time naming my concoction, and that is why I made....


Monkey Pecan Sticky Cinnamon Rolls

Frozen yeast rolls
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
6 Tablespoons butter, divided use
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon

I had 9 rolls left, so that is how many I made.  You should be able to make an even dozen using the amounts I have written.


Spray a plate with Pam.  Place the frozen dough balls on it and spray them.  Spray some plastic wrap and cover the dough.  Go away for 2 hours.

When the balls are thawed, but haven't risen, you can turn on the oven to 350°.  Spray a muffin tin with Pam.  Set it aside.


Chop up the pecans.  I counted out about 4 pecan halves for each dough ball and chopped them up.  You may want to do a bit more if you are making more than the 9 I made.


Place the pecans in a cast iron pan over medium  and let them toast for a few minutes.  Add 4 Tablespoons of butter, or half a stick into the pan.  When that melts add 1/4 cup brown sugar and the corn syrup.  Cook for another minute, until everything is melty and bubbly. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. It will bubble up a bit, but just stir it in.


Spoon about 1 Tablespoon of the nutty syrup into the bottom of the muffin tins.  Then set up your assembly line.


Melt the last two Tablespoons of butter in the microwave.  Cover the bowl with a paper towel to avoid splattering.  Place 1/3 cup of sugar and the cinnamon in another bowl and mix well.  Uncover the softened dough balls and get a very clean pair of scissors.


Snip a dough ball in half and then each half gets snipped until you have four even lumps.  Dip them in the butter and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar.  Place four lumps in each muffin tin.  Do all the dough balls this way.


I ended up with some extra cinnamon sugar.  I sprinkled some on top of the rolls and then tossed the rest, but I bet it would have been good in a cup of coffee!

Cook at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes until they start to brown.  It is hard to tell with all that cinnamony goodness.  I just did it for 20 minutes. Let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes...if you can wait that long.


Now, how to get them out.  At first I used a thin rubber spatula and kind of scooped out the whole thing onto a plate.  I wanted to invert the whole pan over a plate, but my dinner plates were too small, so I scooped out another one and then inverted.

It will take a minute or so for all the pecan nuttiness to ooze onto the rolls.  I ended up helping a bit with the same rubber spatula.  You don't want to leave any of that in the pan!


Use a fork or your fingers to pull off a bite sized chunk.  Make sure you get your fair share of the pecans.  Let your husband know he can stop work and have a treat. 

Realize that you have to try them after they cool.  In order to make sure they are still good.  For the future guests, you understand. 

Place one on a plate and heat for 10 seconds in the microwave to recreate the gooey texture of the nuts.  Moan just a wee bit and place the others in a covered plastic container so that you might forget they are still in your house.

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