This was our brunch the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I figured, correctly, that I would be a little tired of cooking by then, but I still wanted to have our usual brunch. So I went looking for something really easy and not labor-intensive. I found this recipe and it seemed perfect for the occasion. I found it in “The Comfort Table” by Katie Lee Joel (who I think is just Katie Lee now; didn’t she and Billy Joel split up? Someone who is more current on celebrity gossip let me know.) Anyway, it turned out to be what monkey bread should be: delicious and totally addictive! And I call it shortcut and cheater because it uses refrigerated biscuits from a tube instead of making the dough yourself. Enjoy!
Four 12 ounce cans regular-size flaky biscuits, such as Pillsbury
1 cup sugar
2 tbs ground cinnamon
4 tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 10 inch Bundt or tube pan.
Cut biscuits into quarters and roll each quarter into a ball. Combine the 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tbs cinnamon in a shallow dish. Roll the biscuit balls in the cinnamon sugar. Place in the pan, sprinkling some of the cinnamon-sugar over the balls occasionally while filling the pan.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tbs cinnamon, and the vanilla. Warm, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the top of the biscuit balls. Bake for 30 minutes* or until the top is golden and caramelized. Remove from the oven and let sit at least 5 minutes. Unmold onto a plate. Slice or pull apart to serve (I always opt for pulling it apart – I think that’s the only legit way to eat Monkey Bread, but do whatever works best for you).
* A note on the cooking time. You want to cook it until an instant read thermometer inserted into the middle of the bread reads 190 F. This took me almost one hour of cooking. When I pulled it after 30 minutes, most of the middle dough was still raw.