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Going Bananas for Monkey Bread


Going Bananas for Monkey Bread


Photos and Words by Natalie Goldberg

For my 21st birthday, my friends decided to buy me a crockpot, knowing how much I love to cook (and probably hoping I would let them taste test).  Now, I am prepared for the chilly weather to come and am absolutely in love with finding new recipes to try.  Of course, my first mission was to make a hearty fall soup, then maybe a chili.  But recently, I’ve had a craving for something sweet, warm, and comforting.  Monkey bread just hit the spot.

A popular boardwalk favorite back home at the Jersey shore, monkey bread is made up of layered pieces of dough coated with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. It is served warm and is the perfect dessert to share with friends, as you break it up and rip off bites. There are tons of variations of the recipes: some top it with cream cheese, icing, or caramel. Other recipes include apples, raisins, banana, or pumpkin.  There are even recipes that substitute biscuit dough for cinnamon roll dough to make it even sweeter. With so many combinations, it is the ultimate version of comforting, sticky finger food that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Learning from a past (failed) attempt of making this gooey, dense dessert in a typical bundt pan, I scoured the Internet for an easy crockpot recipe so I could use my new favorite kitchen tool.  This recipe was simple, quick, and came out delicious! It cooked evenly, got crispy around the edges, and still had the wonderful flavors of brown sugar and cinnamon loaded throughout every bite.

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 2.5 hours

Note: this works best with a 5-6 qt crockpot so that the monkey bread bakes in one layer along the bottom.

1 Container of Pillsbury Grand Original Biscuits
1/2 cup White sugar
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Stick butter, melted

1.     Spray inside of crockpot with non-stick cooking spray or grease it with a bit of butter.
2.     Melt butter in microwave safe bowl and set aside.
3.     Combine white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Zip it and shake well to mix together and set aside.

4.     Cut each biscuit into 6 pieces.
5.     Take each piece and dip fully into melted butter, then transfer each piece into the cinnamon sugar bag.
6.    After all pieces have been added to the bag, zip it up, shake, and roll it until pieces are fully coated with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Try not to mush it- you don’t want the pieces to stick together yet!

7.     Pour remaining butter into the bottom of the crockpot.
8.     Take out cinnamon-sugar coated biscuit pieces and line them along the bottom of the crockpot.
9.     Cook on LOW for 2.5 hours, or until done. Crockpots have various cooking temperatures, so be sure to check it periodically as it may be overdone or underdone at 2.5 hours. If not fully cooked, cook on LOW at ½ hour increments until done.
10. Enjoy it right out of the crockpot or put into serving bowls!