Monkey Bread Maniaaaa! Oh Monkey Bread…how did I not know about this amazing biscuit cake giant sticky bun creation? I don’t know, and I hear it started in the South so I feel seriously deprived for being out of the loop. When Ariel and I started Nosh and Tell a few weeks ago she mentioned that I should make something called Monkey Bread. I had no idea what she was talking about so I quickly googled it and realized it was my dream come true. I am a HUGE fan of sticky buns thanks to a trip I took with my friend Mary Helen whose family is obsessed with this breakfast delight. I would equate Monkey Bread to a giant chunk of sticky buns except instead of having cinnamon roll base, it is made up of biscuits. What?! It’s unreal, I know.
I don’t know the origin of the name “Monkey Bread” but maybe it has something to do with the way this treat is eaten. It is made up of individual biscuits rolled up into balls, covered in cinnamon sugar, and then stuck together in a cake pan mold. But instead of slicing it like a cake you pull off the little balls of biscuits and pop ’em in your mouth. Beware: you will pop about 12 of these in your mouth before realizing half the cake is gone and that you have over eaten. Food coma time!
As soon as the Monkey Bread started baking in the oven my room was filled with smells of butter, sugar, and cinnamon. About 45 minutes later (cooling time included) I was rewarded with my very first taste of Monkey Bread. Somebody call Paula Deen because this is RIGHT up her ally! I don’t really like Rachel Ray, but YUM-O, I have no words to describe the amazingness, which seems to happening frequently lately! The tastes of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamony pecans filled my mouth, heaven. It tastes just like a sticky bun! Except better because I made mine with butter style biscuits too, so each bite was extra buttery. The top pieces were covered with pecans and drenched in the butter brown sugar glaze that gets poured over the cake right before you stick it in the oven. The middle pieces were slightly doughier and reminded me of the Dough Boys I used to eat at camp (uncooked dough that you roast over the fire..ooh yes, it’s amazing). The edge pieces were crispier and slightly drier, they still had the flavors of the butter and brown sugar, but they reminded me more of donut holes because of their texture. GAHHH I could go on and on! This was SO easy to make, I made mine with pre-made biscuits so it really only took about 15 minutes to prep. I would definitely make this again for a breakfast or brunch get together. It’s easy to make and serve since you just pull off pieces to eat it. I know there are many variations on Monkey Bread, some use cinnamon rolls instead of biscuits, which I will definitely be trying. I know Paula Deen even makes her own “Gorilla Bread” which includes filling the inside of each biscuit with cream cheese…I wouldn’t expect anything less from you Paula.
Adapted from Running with Tweezers
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar*
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter*
3 10 oz packages of buttermilk biscuits (I used two 16 oz packages of Pillsbury Butter Tastin’ Biscuits)
*Healthy Swaps: I used 3/4 cup of brown sugar and 3/4 a stick of butter, in other words I used 6 tablespoons instead of the full stick which is 8 tbsp, I think I could have used even less since I used the Butter Tastin’ biscuits.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan and set aside (I’m sure you could use a square pan or maybe two 9 inch rounds too but you may have to adjust cooking time)
In a side bowl or shallow dish combine sugar and cinnamon. Cut each biscuit into quarters and roll each section in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Layer pieces in pan, building rows until all pieces are layered. In a sauce pan heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat until combines. Pour mixture over dough. Bake for 30-40 minutes until puffy and golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes, invert bread onto a plate or cake stand, and serve.
Enjoy!…and maybe send me a hunk of Monkey Bread? Ariel I blame you for this new obsession.