Sunday, September 11, 2011

Monkey Bread

I was just going through some of the foodie pics I'd taken for this blog and I can't believe I never posted this recipe!  It was soooooo good!  I must admit, it was a heck of alot of least more than I'd ever been used to when baking goodies for myself before, but it's so worth it!

I made this a few months ago back when I was baking several times a week and sending most (or half) of what I baked off to work with Chris.  Hahaha, that was before I realized my clothes were miraculously shrinking from this British climate.  It's the climate I tell you!  Don't argue with me, let me dream.

So this Monkey Bread recipe is from the Brown Eyed Baker blog.  I think her recipes are just fantastic and I do them so frequently that I've given her her own label on this blog. 

I must apologize for the photos coming up.  I have a big sweet tooth and I'm still relatively new at this blogging thing that I often start eating my goodies before realizing I hadn't taken a photo yet!  Ha Ha!  So you'll probably notice photos of many half eaten treats on this site!  Chris got into devouring this as well before we took photos!

They are so gooey and delicious!  I think I'll be making these again very soon!  I've been told tonight that Chris's colleagues are literally begging for another batch of these!!  Thank you, Michelle for this heavenly recipe!!!
Monkey Bread
from the Brown Eyed Baker blog

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons melted
1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees F)
1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees F)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 package instant yeast
3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
2 teaspoons salt

Brown Sugar Coating:
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk

1. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.

2. In a large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar and yeast. Mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free area until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.

3. For the sugar coating: While the dough is rising, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place melted butter in second bowl. Set aside.

4. To form the bread: Gently remove the dough from the bowl, and pat into a rough 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces.

5. Roll each dough piece into a ball. Working one at a time, dip the balls into the melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl. Roll in the brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in the Bundt pan, staggering seams where dough balls meet as you build layers.

6. Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in draft-free area until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.

7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

8. For the glaze: While the bread cools, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and milk in a small bowl until the lumps are gone. Using a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the monkey bread, letting it run over top and down the sides of the bread. Serve warm.

*Note: (This is the method I used) To make without a stand mixer: In step 2, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour, then add the milk mixture to the well. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough becomes shaggy and is difficult to stir. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating the shaggy scraps back into the dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Shape into a taut ball and proceed as directed.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I am a HUGE lover of food blogs!  It seems I am often glued to the computer putting stars next to special recipes and bookmarking others.  I would print out all my faves, but I would then definitely need a new full-sized bookcase!!  It's bad enough I already have one giant bookcase overflowing with cookbooks!  I tell you, I love recipes so much that if I don't keep up with the blogs for a few days...I suddenly have like 200 posts to catch up on!  What was I thinking subscribing to sooo many??!!  I love them all though and constantly drool over each new recipe!  Keep them coming!

Recently I had my extra special friend, Deniz, visit me for a couple of days en route to Turkey.  Knowing that Deniz has a massive sweet tooth as well, I welcomed the opportunity to get baking in the kitchen!  (Yes, yes...I know! More cheating on pre-wedding diet!!) 

This time I made some fabulous Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from the Brown Eyed Baker blog.  I wish I could say I had a better photo than this, but I took a couple of shots while the pan was cooling and then well...completely forgot!  I cut them into pieces, shoved several into my mouth and put the rest in a container and quickly left the room before I ate any more!  They were that good!!  Make these if you know what is good for you!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
from the Brown Eyed Baker blog

1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until creamy and light. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Reduce speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until the flour is just incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.

4. Turn out the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until the center is set. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars and store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Cream Cheese, Caramelized Onion and Bacon Quiche

With my wedding coming up in less than two months I am trying to be so good in what I make for supper, but some days you just crave something a little bit moreish!  I recently starred another such recipe in my Google reader - The Cream Cheese, Caramelized Onion and Bacon Quiche from the Picky Palate blog.  I remember years ago I used to regularly enjoy making quiche lorraine, but having misplaced my recipe at one point I just forgot about it and now it's been over 10 years since I have made a quiche.  So I was having a weak day and needed something other than boring diet food.....quiche was just the ticket.  I really hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!  Please go and check out Jenny's blog! She really has some fantastic recipes!
Cream Cheese, Caramelized Onion and Bacon Quiche
from the Picky Palate food blog

1 refrigerated 9-inch pie crust
1/2 pound bacon
1 large sliced white onion
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces softened Philadelphia Cream Cheese
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook bacon, stirring until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate and discard drippings. Add onions and cook, stirring until onions are golden and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Unroll pie crust and lay inside and up edges of prepared pie plate. With fork, poke holes in bottom and partially bake crust for 10 minutes, then remove from oven.

4. Add eggs, milk, salt and pepper to a large bowl, whisking to combine. Layer cooked onions over bottom of partially baked crust and top with bacon pieces and cream cheese pieces. Pour eggs over bacon and top with cheese and parsley. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until eggs are set and edges are browned. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Makes 8 servings