We never had Monkey Bread growing up. It was introduced to me later in life by one Alex Bard. Clearly I had a very neglected childhood on the mean streets of suburban South Jersey. No Monkey Bread, only one pool... My parents were so cruel. I decided to take a stab at Monkey Bread for a little brunch party when both Mark and my parents visited last weekend for the Phillies game. I needed easy things to make so that I wouldn't be stressy around the families. From my internet research, Monkey bread looked easy enough. All you do is roll little balls of biscuit dough in cinnamon sugar, pour over melted butter and bake. I decided to one-up Monkey Bread by stuffing the little biscuit dough balls with cream cheese. It was surprisingly easy to do and so amazingly delicious. The end result is sweet, but balanced by the sharp cream cheese. I loved it. I also think this could be a fun dessert with ice cream.
Monkey Bread with Cream Cheese Filling
1 package biscuits
4 Tbs. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs. cinnamon
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup raisins
1 Tbs. dark rum or whiskey
1. The biscuit package has 8 biscuits. You cut them in quarters. 8x4=32. Start by lining a plate with parchment and plopping 32 little 1/2 tsp. dots of cream cheese onto the parchment and putting it into the freezer overnight.
I found honey butter flavored biscuits, but plain are great too.
2. Cut the biscuits into quarters.
3. Place a frozen piece of cream cheese into each biscuit piece and roll the dough around the cream cheese (this might sound complicated, but the dough is so pliable that it really work easily).
4. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl and roll the biscuit dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar.
You want them to be generously coated.
5. If you want to add raisins, I like to plump mine up in water and whiskey for a minute so that they are super juicy. Put the raisins in a bowl and add either rum or whiskey. Then cover them with water and microwave for 2 minutes. Drain the water and you've got pumped raisins.
6. I don't own a bundt pan so I used a loaf pan (If you want to make enough for a whole bundt pan, you'd need to double this recipe at least). Place the dough balls and raisins (you could also add nuts if you want. I bet walnuts would be great) evenly through a pan that you've sprayed liberally with non-stick spray.
7. Melt butter and pour over everything.
8. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes (cooking time will depend on your baking dish - if it is shallow, you will cook it for less time) until the top is crispy and the biscuits are cooked underneath. They can be slightly gooey, but you want them to be cooked through.
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