Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Making Monkey Bread

Monkey bread is one of those brown sugar cinnamon comfort foods, easy to make and even easier to eat. It smells intoxicating coming out of the oven, with its sweet, cinnamony, yeasty scent that could make grown men dizzy. It looks great turned upside down out of a tube pan, and the only question is how long it will last before every last sticky, buttery bite is gone.

This recipe uses regular-sized canned Pillsbury biscuits, one of those welcome shortcuts that probably tastes just as good as bread made from scratch with one tenth of the effort. It’s also a winning recipe to make with kids since it’s fun and turns out so eye-catching and yummy.

My daughter Amanda just finished 7th grade, and we’re looking forward to whipping up some fun foods in the kitchen this summer. This recipe makes a crafty cooking project with great teachable moments to share cooking concepts:

- How to use a knife properly
- The best cinnamon
- How some ingredients can be increased from the recipe amount if you really love them (I’m talking about the cinnamon, natch)
- How yeasty items can rise while baking
- How to grease a tube pan so that the bread comes out easily when inverted
- How to invert the bread properly

This makes a tasty breakfast, afternoon snack, or dessert treat. Try it- it’s so easy a kid can make it.

Monkey Bread
(adapted from a recipe found at

3 cans Pillsbury biscuits (we used Grands! Jr. Golden Layer Buttermilk)
1 T plus 1 t cinnamon (my favorite is Penzeys Vietnamese Cinnamon Extra Fancy)
3 T granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat over to 350 F.
2. Combine 1 T of the cinnamon and the granulated sugar in a bowl.
3. Cut each biscuit into fourths on a cutting board.
4. Roll biscuit pieces in cinnamon sugar until coated. Place them evenly in greased tube cake pan.
5. In a sauce pan, melt butter, brown sugar, and 1 t cinnamon over medium-high heat until smooth and creamy. Pour over biscuit pieces.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until cake is slightly crunchy on top.
7. Remove pan from oven. Place a plate on top of the pan and carefully invert so the cake releases onto the plate.

Warning: May be addictive. Enjoy!

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