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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Monkey Bread

After two weeks of intense proposal writing and a seven hour editing session, with a bout of Valentine's Day bitchiness mixed in, I was one cranky old biddy. Sex or exercise probably would've improved my mood, but the first option was not in the cards (grrr) and I was feeling too self-indulgent for any exercise, and too lazy to stop off at the grocery store to get any interesting ingredients. I decided to bake monkey bread since I had all the ingredients. Back when I was a kid, it was called cinnamon pull-aparts, but now everyone seems to call it monkey bread, which is a much better name. In any case, you take small balls of dough (either biscuit or yeast), dip them in melted butter, roll them in a mix of sugar and cinnamon, and put them in a bundt pan. When it is done baking it is very similar to a sticky bun but it's less work and more amenable to adjusting the portion size.*
I used a simple yeast dough recipe for cinnamon bread. I don't feel like typing it out, but you can find a good one over at Smitten Kitchen, complete with pictures. Anyway, after the dough had risen once, I assembled the monkey bread. I didn't bother rolling the dough out, and just pulled off walnut size pieces instead and rolled them in the butter and sugar. I then let it rise for about an hour while I took a bath, and then put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I let it warm up to room temperature and then baked it at 350F for about 40 minutes or so while I did yet another round of proposal proofreading. The whole house smelled really good. After it cooled for about 5 minutes, I turned over the pan onto a plate and the read came out cleanly. It is important not to wait to long, or it will stick to the pan. I then frosted it with a cream cheese glaze.
It was very tasty - a bit on the sweet side, but keep in mind I have the same issue with cinnamon rolls. Next time I'll skip the frosting and just eat it with cream cheese.
Anyway, it didn't entirely cure my bad mood, but it certainly helped.

* I always find cinnamon rolls too big or, if they're the right size, they're too dry. It's sort of like with pancakes - my eyes are always bigger than my stomach. Not everyone has this problem, however. I made monkey bread once when I was in high school. I set it on a rack to cool and went and did something else. When I came back, it was all gone My brother and his friend Steve had eaten the whole damned thing.

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