Here in the metro DC region, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, even though there are at least 4 more weeks until most schools here end. In DC this weekend, in addition to Rolling Thunder riders, music concerts, and military ceremonies honoring veterans and their families, the region's pools open and the grilling begins. For many families, relaxation is almost immediate.
For families with food allergies, the first summer BBQ sets off a new kind of panic...
The adults with sticky hugs and kisses for our food-allergic kids, the other kids carrying and spilling all sorts of unsafe foods on play areas and equipment, and the awkward questions to hosts about what else was on that grill they'd like to use for our allergy-safe foods we toted along with us...
In our close-knit townhome neighborhood full of families, we run through a Costco-sized case of baby wipes for toys and hands in just a few weeks, it seems. And we're fortunate to be surrounded by caring and understanding neighbors---adults and kids alike.
Apart from the allergen scares, then, we have a lesser but still valid concern. What can we contribute to community gatherings that doesn't scream "allergy safe" and is large enough to feed a crowd? This year, it's monkey bread!
The name of this sugary dessert is well known in southern states, but my Italian grandmother in the Midwest made a labor-intensive version of this gooey cinnamon cake/roll for our Sunday visits, too. My version is quick and easy, good warm for a brunch or cooled for a BBQ dessert. This holiday weekend, it's also a sweet-treat way for me to remember old times with my own grandparents, including my Marine-veteran grandfather.
Check it out below or in the Pantry's Breads and Breakfasts ebook on Etsy or BakeSpace's Cookbook Cafe!
If your family can safely use dry pudding or pie mixes, try adapting the flavors with your own favorites in place of the first brown sugar topping. And be sure to enjoy your version of monkey bread with friends and family this Memorial Day.
12-14 frozen (unbaked) dinner rolls
1/2 cup and 1/4 cup brown sugar, separated
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1. Spray the sides of an angel food or bundt pan with oil.
2. In the bottom of the pan, sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar and pour the canola oil over it.
3. Set the rolls over the sugar, arranging them in the pan so that they are no more than half way up the side of the pan.
4. Stir the cinnamon and 1/4 cup brown sugar into the white sugar and sprinkle the mixture over the rolls.
5. Place the pan in the over to thaw and rise overnight.
6. In the morning, remove the pan, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and cook for 20 minutes.
7. Remove the pan to a wire rack and loosen the sides (insides and outsides!) of the bread with a spatula or knife.
8. Cover the pan with a large plate or tray, and flip the covered pan over 180 degrees.
9. Slowly lift the pan to leave the bread on the tray.
10. Cool for at least 10 minutes before tearing into breakable pieces to share.
2017 update: I'm still making this bread/gooey roll for holidays! A butterscotch-flavored version is already on our menu for Easter, so I'm thrilled to add it to #FreeFromFridays this year. Try it out and make it your own.
Hi, I'm Nicole.
ABOUT THE BLOG
An apothecary is a person or a place. Either one implies healing and relates to pharmacy in its truest sense, as a source of treatment and advice.
This blog is my way of uniting my pharmacy training with my efforts to provide a healthy and safe lifestyle for my family. In true apothecary form, I research and prescribe alternative ingredients that work just right in each specific recipe, and I would like to share the results with anyone who needs help making their own family’s kitchen allergy safe and heart healthy.
Nicole Van Hoey's books on Goodreads
Bakery Bites: Breads and Treats Without Dairy, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, or Soy
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)
Kitchen Adventures With Multiple Food Allergies: A Recipe Collection for Celebrations Without Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Seeds, or Soy