Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Surprise Monkey Bread

 Do you have a favorite recipe that you don't even use a recipe for? If I had to choose one go-to dessert (this could be breakfast too, or lunch or dinner, hehe) that I no longer read the actual recipe for it would be this yummy ring of goodness!  I first made this for a snack party at my former job and it was an instant hit. In fact, at every snack party I was asked to bring this.  I was watching TV tonight with my hubby and it hit me....MONKEY BREAD, MUST MAKE NOW!  So, I headed to the kitchen and whipped this up.  I had to find the original recipe in order to post.  Although I use the same ingredients the amounts tend to change and vary each time I make this depending on my mood. Shall I add more brown sugar, more cinnamon, no walnuts, etc...you get the idea.  You could really add or omit any of the ingredients depending on your personal tastes, another reason I love this so much....adaptability (is that even a word?)
Depending on what's in the frig, I sometimes use extra flaky buttermilk biscuits, grands, really just whatever I have on hand.  Sometimes I don't have walnuts, chopped peanuts are nice as well.  So is caramel sauce instead of brown sugar/butter combo.  Although this is a pretty good treat warmed up the next day, if I'm taking this to work or a social gathering there are NEVER leftovers.  So, if you want to take this somewhere and want to have some yourself, just make two :)

Another reason I love this, as if I need another reason aside from the brown sugar, cinnamon/sugar combo (so delish) is that if you don't like cream cheese, or you THINK you don't, you will change your mind after this.  My step-dad claims to loath cream cheese, as did many of my fellow co-workers.  When asked what the "surprise" component was, a HUGE, yet evil grin came to my lips as I stated. "That would be cream cheese, a whole brick of it!" YAY, score for cream cheese! I personally LOVE cream cheese and often spent many summer lunches in the kitchen making cream cheese and olive sandwiches with my Grandmother, but that's another story for another day.  

So, go ahead and make this. You can thank me now or later, I'm not picky ;)

Surprise Monkey Bread
Printable Recipe

Source:  Taste of Home Prize Winning Recipes, April 2010

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, cubed
2 tubes refrigerated biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, cut into 20 cubes (if each biscuit tube has 10 biscuits)
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F

Melt butter and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl until the sugar is dissolved.  I start on 2 minutes on 50% power and then go longer in 30 second increments.  Set aside. 
brown sugar & butter
Combine cinnamon and sugar, set aside.

Flatten each biscuit into a 3 inch circle and sprinkle 1/2 tsp of cinnamon/sugar mixture in the middle of the circle and spread so the whole biscuit is covered.  Top with 1 cream cheese cube then fold dough over filling; pinch edges to seal tightly. 

Sprinkle 1/2 cup walnuts into a 10 inch fluted tube pan coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Layer with half the biscuits, cinnamon/sugar mixture, & butter/brown sugar mixture and 1/2 cup walnuts.  Repeat layers.
layer one

add brown sugar/butter mixture
layer two

Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown, invert pan onto serving dish and enjoy! Best served warm

Oh, so yummy.

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