Monkey bread

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I've always wanted to make monkey bread. The whole concept of bread that you pull apart just intrigued me, and besides, look at it. It's super cool looking.

I have no idea why it's called monkey bread, but...

I dug out an apron for Captain Chips here, handed him a mixing spoon and we were ready to go. What's monkey bread without a monkey helper?

I got the recipe from Gimme Some Oven, a gorgeous blog with so many recipes that I've already bookmarked and can't wait to try. You should definitely detour over there at some point (as long as you don't forget about little ol' me!)

You will need:

 

  • 16 oz. of  refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (I used homestyle but it was still great!)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs ground cinnamon
  • She also suggests you throw in some pecans or walnuts, which I'm sure would be out of this world, because I love walnuts. I'm also allergic to them. *sigh*
  • monkeys

Preheat your oven to 350° and spray a bundt pan with non-stick spray.

*If you're making this in the summer you might want to hold off on preheating your oven. Preparing the bread takes some time and I ended up sweating because the oven was on for so long. In the winter, though, this might be nice!*

In one bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. In another, mix together the sugar, brown sugar (try to get as many lumps out as you can), and the cinnamon.

Pop open your cans of biscuits and cut each one into quarters. I though these were going to be too small, but they expand when they bake and become perfectly bite sized!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take each lump of dough and dip it in the melted butter, and then roll it around in the sugar. Then you just drop it into the bundt pan!

The picture quality isn't great because my tripod tipped over and my camera lens fell into the bowl of butter. I cleaned it, but there were still smudges. Oops

Her instructions said not to press the pieces together because they will expand when baking, so I didn't. Pour the remaining butter on top, and bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes.

While it's cooking, let's visit my other favorite monkey:

Lowell.

When I was a senior in high school I interned at my local zoo (the Seneca Park Zoo) for 6 months. I was under the impression that I wanted to be a zookeeper when I grew up, and the most important thing I learned from the internship was that it's incredibly hard work (though rewarding!) and you do NOT make a lot of money.

Needless to say, it was still an awesome experience. My favorite animals to work with were the orangutans. They could recognize me out of a group of people, they would watch me as I walked past them, they would reach through the bars of their cage and hold out their wrinkled hands for treats. It was the coolest thing in the world.

And then Lowell, the adult male orangutan, died of a heart attack. I was taking ceramics at the time, and decided I would make an orangutan cookie jar in his likeness.

Needless to say, it turned into a lot more than that. This thing is huge. It took me several month to make, he weighs probably 35 pounds (he's hollow and his head comes off if you did want to put cookies in him) and he's been on display in my front hall ever since. People don't believe me when I tell them I made it out of clay, and I mostly can't believe that i made it without a single air bubble, which would cause it to explode in the kiln.

It also won first prize at the art fair :)

But, back to the monkey bread. If the top springs back when you touch it, it's done. Let it cool for ten minutes, and then carefully invert the bundt pan onto a plate. The first time I did this I left half the bread in the pan, so I had to run a knife around the edges and try again. 

I bought that plastic orangutan head ten years ago, and I can't bring myself to throw it out. His expression makes me laugh.

Now you get to pull it apart and eat it! I can't even explain how delicious this turned out, other than to say it didn't last very long!

The only issue I had was that when the bread expanded in the oven it didn't stick together, like it's supposed to (I assume?) As a result it ended up a precariously stacked mountain of little cinnamon bites. Still delicious, but not sticky.

Any ideas why this happened? My guess is that I coated each piece too thoroughly and there was not enough exposed dough to fuse together.

Either way it was super fun to make and I'm proud that my first attempt at monkey bread turned out so well!

 

 

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