Friday, May 05, 2006

The easiest monkey bread in the world

Last night, there were two extra little girls here, giggling and talking with Betsy late into the night. For breakfast this morning, they'll be expecting something beyond cold cereal, in keeping with the "slumber party" title given to the festivities. I plan to go start the monkey bread very soon, and no one (but you) really needs to know just how easy this is.

Lazy Mother's Monkey Bread

2 cans refrigerated biscuits (7 or 8 oz. each)

4 T. melted butter

4 T. sugar
4 T. brown sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar (for glaze)
3-4 T. water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan.

Set aside all notions that involve quartering and dipping. This is the Lazy Mother's Monkey Bread. We don't quarter and dip here. It takes too long. We halve and dump things.

Cut the biscuits in half and throw them (literally, if you feel like it) into a large bowl. Pour the melted butter over them, and stir the biscuits as well as you can. Remind yourself that even though it doesn't seem to be coating the biscuits as well as the dipping method, this will work. Karen said so.

In separate small bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour it over the not-so-perfectly-coated biscuits and stir again. Stifle the urge to think badly of Karen for being so lazy. Remind yourself again that even though this doesn't appear to work as well as dipping, it will be okay.

Put the slightly unevenly coated biscuits into your pan and (here's where you have to do a little finger-work, even though this is the Lazy Mother's method....) spread biscuits into a single layer. Use whatever sugar mixture is left in the bowl to even out the coverage. Remind yourself that the monkey bread will be frosted with an insane amount of sugar and your children will not notice that the biscuits were dumped, not dipped.

Bake for 20 minutes. In the meantime, mix up that insane glaze. When the monkey bread has cooled for about 10 minutes, pour the glaze over the top and call the children in to admire your culinary skills. Praise them for appreciating you. Pat yourself on the back for making slumber parties fun with things like Monkey Bread for breakfast and ice cream sundaes, complete with Butterfingers and M & Ms, the night before. Remind yourself that you were entirely in the right to not let them watch that PG-rated movie that a friend brought over last night.

Eat some monkey bread before the kids finish off the pan, and ask yourself why you ever bought into that dipping thing in the first place.


Liz said...

And here I spent half of Saturday afternoon making sticky buns from scratch! Our "sleepover" was my daughter's boyfriend (but he slept in the guestroom by himself, thank you very much!). I must admit that I was pretty weary by dinnertime on Saturday since I spent the day making first two loaves of Italian bread, then a pot of chili, then the aforementioned sticky buns. My only semi-meltdown was when I discovered that the ants had gotten into the bag of brown sugar and the two boxes of brown sugar in the cupboard had mysteriously been left open, so were hard as rocks. Sent dh on an emergency run to the local mom and pop store for brown sugar, and then "made do" with one package where I ordinarily would have used about a package and a half (this is a huge batch of sticky buns we're talking about here).

Oh well, sticky buns were enjoyed by all. Of course then I got up Sunday morning early and peeled all the vegetables to go into a New England boiled dinner to cook in the crock pot while we were at Mass. Why do I do these things to myself when you are making Lazy Mom's Monkey Bread and probably getting the same kudos? I don't know. Maybe it's because I don't really like refrigerator biscuits and my kids rave about my sticky buns (better than Cinnabon!)

Next time, I'm going for something a bit less time consuming like meatloaf and brownies.

Karen E. said...

Liz said, "Why do I do these things to myself when you are making Lazy Mom's Monkey Bread and probably getting the same kudos?"
No, the kudos are not equivalent -- it's different with little girls.

Your kids are older, wiser, have better taste, and you're a better cook. :-)

There's a definite difference between fridge biscuits and the amazing homemade cinnamon roll recipe that Atticus and I recently made together. But, after being up until midnght, then awakened before 5 by Ramona, Lazy Mom was the ticket here this a.m. .... ;-)

Lisa said...

Ahh... this brings back memories. Blythe used to like to make monkey bread (she has moved on to a variety of wonderful yeast rolls). Once, when she was about 9, she saw me making the recipes just as you described. She was aghast. I was supposed to be cutting and dipping thoses pieces of biscuit. I told her this would work "just about as good" as hers. To be honest, hers are better, but then again anything I don't have to cook seems to taste better. Even PB&J.

Maureen Wittmann said...

I've made this -- soooo good! I have a version with Hershey Kisses wrapped in the biscuit dough. I'll blog the recipe sometime soon.

Nancy said...

Okay now I have a sister and sister-in-law making me look bad! Brian got Caseys donuts on his sleep overs!

Dawn said...

Karen, thank you so much for posting this recipe! My oldest has been wanting to make Monkey bread, oh, since his birthday last June! Maybe I can manage it this year. :)

Alice said...

I am embarrassed to say I have never even heard of Monkey Bread! This sounds phenomenal though--and, if it's an easy recipe, I'm all for it!

Theresa said...

That sounds like my kind of recipe. We have to keep it pretty smple around here!

Liz said...

Being awakened by a little girl, ah I remember it well. I didn't do a lot of yeast dough myself in that era, although I somehow managed to put on a lot of weight eating to overcome fatigue! The little girl has grown up, but the weight still hangs on.

I wouldn't have done yeast rolls for breakfast for a sleepover, unless I'd done them the day before. The rolls I did were definitely of the "dessert for dinner" variety.

There is of course a lazy mom's yeast option as well. It's called frozen yeast dough. If you get those frozen loaves of bread and thaw them in the fridge you can turn them into sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, pizza dough, etc. It's not quite as good as homemade sweet roll dough (the frozen dough is intended for just straight white bread so it doesn't have the eggs and extra sugar), but it does work in a pinch. Of course you have to remember to thaw it the day before, so your Lazy Mom's Monkey Bread is a better last minute deal.

I managed to have all my cooking done by noon yesterday, even though it was my bread baking day again. I threw beans in the crockpot so we could have baked beans for supper. Since I was in the kitchen doing bread anyway making beans was really a pretty simple thing to do (their steps came in between the bread needing servicing). Now that's the kind of Satuday I prefer. Do you know that you can read literary criticism while you are waiting for bread to rise and beans to quick soak? Well, you can, and since you are obviously being so incredibly productive (in the midst of making both dinner and bread), no one even bothers you about it. See there's a method in my madness.

Current lit crit (well one of them, anyway) is Marion Montgomery's Flannery O'Connor,Hillbilly Thomist. If Atticus isn't familiar with Montgomery, well encourage him to become so. Some university library around there must have some of his stuff.