G loves the zoo. He loves monkeys, especially. Sometimes I liken him to Curious George. For Valentine's Day this year I gave him a "Day at the Zoo."
Aren't you kinda (but not really) impressed with my first attempt at PhotoShop to make the "tickets"? Except, I used Pixlr (a free web version). I loved the way the turned out. I also found some other things he may need at the zoo- or for a ride to the zoo. Of course, I had to make some monkey bread too.
It sure would be great for breakfast, but I made it for dessert since it was a weeknight. I did all the steps up to putting it in the oven the day before and then kept it in the fridge overnight. I took it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before I wanted to bake it then baked as direct. SO YUMMY!
I've never made monkey bread before, and I rarely ever eat it, but you have to try this one! It tastes like mini cinnamon sugar butter doughnut holes. G was impressed. I was proud. You can pull it apart with your hands and eat it like a monkey. I prefer a fork. :)
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup milk, warm (around 110 degrees)
- 1/3 cup water, warm (around 110 degrees)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 package or 2 1/4 tsp rapid rise or instant yeast
- 3 1/4 cups - 4 cups flour, plus extra for work surface
- 2 tsp table salt
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 3 TBSP powdered sugar, plus extra if needed
- 2 TBSP milk, plus extra if needed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
First you need to get your oven ready. Make sure rack is set to medium-low position. Heat to 200 and then turn off. Use 2 TBSP softened butter to butter bundt pan and set aside.
Now let's make the dough. In a large measuring cup/glass cup, mix together warm milk, water, melted butter, sugar and yeast. Do not stir and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Fit your mixer with a dough hook and add flour and salt to mixer bowl. Slowly add milk mixture
After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth- about 6-7 minutes. The dough should be sticky, but if it does not come together into a cohesive ball, add more flour.
I had to add a lot more flour for it to look like this, but I did not keep track- sorry! Add 2 TBSP at a time.
Turn down onto lightly floured surface to form a smooth, round ball.
Coat large bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Spray ball and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in oven until ball doubles in size- 50-60 minutes.
While the dough is rising, get your dipping stations ready. Melt butter in small bowl. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in second bowl. Set aside a fork and 2 spoons.
When dough is doubled, turn out onto lightly floured surface and gently pat into 8 inch square. Do your best to guess. You don't have to use a ruler as fancy as mine. Isn't it AWESOME? :)
Using a dough scraper or knife, mark dough into 64 pieces. Do not cut them off yet or they will just re-join in the big dough square.
I cut off one row at a time and formed 8 pieces at a time into balls. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and one at a time, dip in melted butter. Use fork to drain excess butter before placing in brown sugar mixture.
Use 2 spoons to gently cover ball in sugar mixture.
Shake excess and place in bundt pan. Stagger the seams where the dough balls meet as you layer.
Cover bundt tightly with plastic wrap and place back in turned-off oven until balls are puffy and 1-2 inches from top of pan, 50-70 minutes. Remove from oven. (After this step, I put the covered bundt in the fridge overnight and removed from fridge 30 minutes-1 hour before baking).
Heat oven to 350. Unwrap pan and bake until top is brown (sugar may begin to bubble), 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes (longer and it will stick) before inverting onto serving platter/plate. Let cool slightly, around 10 minutes, before adding glaze.
Make glaze by beating cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.
Add milk and vanilla and mix until smooth. Drizzle over top of warm bread and allow to drip down over top and sides.
Enjoy with your curious monkey! :)