By: Kathleen Neafsey
I enjoy reading, mostly mysteries, but pretty much just reading in general. Some of my favorite books are ones that involve bakers, cooks, and caterers that include recipes in their stories. I have been reading Diane Mott Davidson’s books with her Goldy Schultz, town caterer character for years. This week I stumbled across Joanne Fluke and her character Hannah Swensen, owner of the town coffee shop and bakery, The Cookie Jar.
Both authors provide fun, quick reads with interesting characters and some great recipes. In Ms. Fluke’s Red Velvet Cupcake Murder she included a recipe for Monkey Bread.
Monkey Bread has long been a family favorite since my mom started making it back in the 70’s. Neither my mother nor I have made it in ages, so seeing this recipe in the book made me think that this was the perfect time to try a new recipe and share it with you.
Here’s what you’ll need:
* 1+1/4 cups of granulated sugar
* 1+1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
* Four (7.5 ounce) cans unbaked refrigerated biscuits (like Pillsbury)
* 1 cup chopped nuts ( I used pecans) – OPTIONAL
* One (6 ounce) bag chocolate chips – OPTIONAL
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
Let’s get down to business…..monkey business
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
* Spray the inside of a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set the pan on a cookie
* In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon.
* Open one can of biscuits at a time, and cut each biscuit into quarters.
* If you’re using the nuts and/or chocolate chips, sprinkle 1/3 of each on top of the first biscuit layer.
* Open the second can of biscuits and repeat the steps of quartering them and rolling them in sugar. Place them in the pan, and top with the nuts and chocolate chips.
* Repeat these steps with the third can of biscuits.
* The fourth can of biscuits should be quartered and rolled in the cinnamon and sugar, and placed on top of the nuts and chocolate chips. This is the top layer, do not use any more nuts or chips.
* Melt the butter, and add any remaining sugar and cinnamon. Stir to mix well, and pour over the top of the biscuits in the bundt pan.
* Remove from oven and cool IN THE PAN on a wire rack for ten minutes.
* Find a plate large enough to fit over the top of the bundt pan. Using potholders, place the plate over the top and turn the pan upside down to unmold the monkey bread.
My family recipe traditionally doesn’t call for the nuts or chocolate chips, but I wanted to try them and see how it would turn out – While it was absolutely delicious, I probably wouldn’t use the chocolate again because, in my opinion, it put the sweetness factor just over the top. I prefer it as more of a “coffee cake” than a really sweet cake / bread. Again, that’s just my opinion.
I guess I should also mention that no monkeys were harmed in the baking of this bread…..and where this yummy treat got its’ name is anybody’s guess – I did find this link online that shares a few different theories as to how the name was derived.