Knock knock knock.
Hello, Lovelies. It’s the time of year when I start thinking on brunch. The sun is at its most lovely, the flowers are in bloom, the mimosas are flowing and you are planning on having 3 dozen of your closest friends over to kill 3 dozen bottles of champagne and inaugurate your patio for the season.
I have a friend who makes a monkey bread every year for his Easter brunch. monkey bread is pretty basic: it’s repurposing a can of biscuits full of leavening agents and chemicals. But damn it’s good. As good as the straightforward old fashioned monkey bread is, The Gentleman Caller wants more.
Here I have taken this classic and amped it up to an 11. Also these are not made in the usual bundt pan. Getting the dough cooked through without drying out in the bundt is tricky. We replace that method with ramekins allowing you more control. And it’s easier to space them around a table or buffet.
So here it is. The Gentleman Caller’s Funky Monkey Bread.
What you need:
- 1 16 ounce can buttermilk biscuits
- 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup vanilla sugar*
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- zest of 1/2 an orange
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon butter flavor extract
- 1/2 ounce peach brandy or other favorite liqueur**
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using shortening or room temperature butter (not the butter allocated for the recipe) liberally grease four ramekins.
In a gallon zip top bag combine cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla sugar. Shake to combine.
Cut biscuits into 6ths like a wagon wheel. Drop pieces loosely into the bag. Shake to coat; it should take every bit of what is in the bag.
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add the butter flavoring, orange zest and liqueur.
Arrange the coated biscuit pieces in the ramekins and sprinkle the pecans intermittently. Pour the butter/brown sugar sauce equally over the ramekins.
Put the ramekins on a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment (the liquid will run over and make a mess. Guaranteed! That’s part of the fun.) Put into the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes. The goal is to make sure the dough is cooked through but not overdone. I like to just turn off the oven at 20 minutes and let them sit in there for awhile and allow the residual heat to permeate.
Serve warm. With ice cream if you’re clever.
Downloadable PDF here: Funky Money Bread
Bye for now, Lovelies! -TGC