I Never Knew How Much I Loved Hawaiian Rolls Until I Made These Brown Butter Croutons
These crunchy croutons, tossed in brown butter and dusted with cinnamon-sugar, are the ultimate ice cream sundae topping.
When IHOP announced they were partnering with King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls to create a Hawaiian roll French toast, I realized I needed to (unofficially) partner with King’s as well. My personal partnership requires I have a jumbo pack of Hawaiian rolls in the kitchen at all time and entails testing out all the ways to use the soft, sweet, flaky rolls in creative new ways. I began with croutons.
Croutons are typically used in savory dishes—tossed into panzanella or Caesar salads, used as a crunchy soup topper, etc. But when our food director suggested transforming the rolls into a sweet crouton, tossed with brown butter and cinnamon-sugar, I knew she was onto something. These can be eaten with yogurt for breakfast, enjoyed with an ice cream sundae for dessert, or scattered on top of a sweet potato or squash soup. Here’s how to do it:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Tear 12 Hawaiian rolls (from one 12 oz. package) into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
2. Melt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, swirling until golden and nutty smelling, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly, then pour over torn rolls and toss to coat.
3. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over croutons and toss to coat. Bake, stirring halfway, until croutons are deeply golden and crispy on the edges, about 20 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes—they will get crunchy as they cool.
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For a Mexican hot chocolate-inspired ice cream sundae, top chocolate ice cream with whipped cream, cinnamon, and a handful of brown butter croutons. Next on my list? Hawaiian roll French toast, monkey bread, and definitely grilled cheese.