Thanksgiving is a magical time of the year. It’s the beginning of more than a month of traditions and celebrating with family and friends. Of course today Jena and I will be getting ready to partake in all the festivities like everyone else, which reminds me of a tradition my mom started when I was a kid. Every holiday season, my mom would make the most unbelievable caramel rolls. They were crunchy yet gooey on the outside, and perfectly moist on the inside. It wasn’t the holidays without them. I would find out, many years later, that these rolls are commonly called “monkey rolls”. Monkey rolls are made by combining ingredients like Rhodes frozen bread dough rolls, which have been thawed, butterscotch pudding mix, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. You let it all rise in a pan overnight, then bake them in the morning, creating a symphony of smells that can only be described as eye opening. They are literally eye opening, because the smell will wake you from a heavy slumber.
The thought of those caramel rolls gave us an idea. Why not use the Rhodes frozen bread dough rolls, but use savory stuffing ingredients instead of sweet ones? Think about it, all the flavors of stuffing in a tender, buttery, pull apart bread? Genius! So, Jena and I tackled this idea head on, and I must say after a couple versions, they turned out exactly as we had hoped for. Tender rolls, enveloped with the flavors of celery, onions, sage, parsley and poultry seasoning, with the additional twists of fresh cranberries, spicy pork sausage and swiss cheese. The result is delicious.
Making this pull apart bread is quite simple. Start by sauteing onions, celery and precooked pork sausage crumbles (we used a Jimmy Dean Pre-Cooked Hot & Spicy Pork Sausage) in a large skillet with melted butter until veggies are softened. Add your herbs and chopped cranberries. Let cool for a few minutes then fold in the swiss cheese. Cut 9 0r 10 Rhodes Traditional Rolls into quarters and gently fold into the reserved vegetable mixture in batches, so the roll pieces don’t stick together. Transfer the mixture to a greased bread loaf pan, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about an hour). Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Let cool, then serve in or out of the pan.
We thought that this additional Thanksgiving post and recipe might help you create some new traditions at your house this year. Enjoy, and may your Thanksgiving be filled with family, friends and a healthy dose of thanks. Stop back soon. Jena and I have an extra special December planned with great ideas for appetizers to spruce up your holiday parties. Remember to cook with love and live to cook.
Jim & Jena
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 med. onion, diced
- ¾ cup pre-cooked pork sausage
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
- 1 tsp. dried poultry seasoning
- ½ cup fresh cranberries, chopped
- 1 cup swiss cheese, cut into small cubes
- 2 lg. eggs, beaten
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 10 ea. Rhodes frozen bread rolls, such as Multi-Grain and Texas Rolls, thawed and quartered.
- Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" X 5" bread loaf pan and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add celery, onions and pork sausage. Cook until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat, then add cranberries. Let cool for a few minutes, then add cheese and egg. Toss to coat.
- Cut thawed rolls into quarters, adding to the cooled stuffing mixture, letting the butter coat each piece to prevent sticking.
- When all dough pieces have been added, layer the mixture in the greased loaf pan, alternating with dough and vegetable mixture until all has been added. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap that has been coated with non-stick spray.
- Let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
- Remove plastic wrap and bake on middle rack of oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
- Transfer loaf to a wire rack to cool.
- Transfer loaf to a serving plate or serve out of the pan.
This article is a sponsored post. All opinions and photography are Jim and Jena’s