Celebrity Chef: Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread has been around forever, most people remember having it when they were kids. Fond memories of the house filling up with the smell of cinnamon followed by eating a sticky treat with your fingers makes the delicious Monkey Bread a certified comfort food.

There are different variations; our recipe has optional raisins in it while some like their Monkey Bread with nuts. You can add those or make monkey bread in the original classic way, without either. It really tastes fabulous all on it's own without anything added to it.

Kids love this stuff, and being allowed to pull the pieces out themselves makes it all that much more fun. They will get sticky, don't sweat it! Enjoy every last morsel and keep biscuits on hand for any time you need a home baked treat. The following is a tried and true Monkey Bread recipe, it isn't grainy like some recipes that are too heavy on the sugars or too light on butter.

The flavors are perfectly blended in a velvety smooth and luxuriously sticky sauce. Some people frost theirs with cream cheese icing, which melts just perfectly onto the bread (the recipe for the icing follows the monkey bread recipe).

While the cinnamon version is thought to be the classic (it's the one most people grew up with), the claim to fame of Monkey Bread actually goes back to the early 1970s with a much different recipe.

The Neiman Marcus food consultant and cookbook author Helen Corbitt, worked in their kitchens from 1955 to the mid-1970s. She decided to serve it in the Neiman Marcus Mariposa Room in Houston and highlighted the recipe in a cookbook she published. Her recipe, which does not have cinnamon and involves making the dough with yeast, is below the gooey cinnamon monkey bread recipe. It is for those who want a more subdued flavor.

In case you are curious, this bread gets its name because you goop pieces of dough together before baking them in a muffin tin or cake pan and then pull the pieces back apart with your fingers after the finished product comes out of the oven -- sort of monkey-like. Others say it resembles the Monkey puzzle tree. In any event it is good.

Monkey Bread

Ingredients:

4 cans refrigerated biscuits

1 cup packed brown sugar 

1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)

1/2 cup white sugar 

2 Tablespoons cinnamon 

1/2 cup raisins (these are optional, it's great with or without them)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9-10 inch tube pan.

2. Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a medium sized plastic bag. Cut the biscuits into halves or quarters and place six to eight biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Shake well.

3. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the greased pan. Continue layering until all the biscuit pieces are coated and in the pan. If you are using raisins, place them among the biscuit pieces as you are layering.

4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the layered biscuits.

5. Bake for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Pull apart and enjoy!


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