Welcome to the new and improved Carano's Cucina. I make a lot of kick ass food and go out to some amazing restaurants. Take a look around and make yourself at home :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monkey or Gorilla...Bear, Lion or Wildebeest Bread whatever it's called, it's good!!!

I love Paula Deen. I think she's a hoot and a half. Except for maybe on her Paula's Party show where's she's, as I like to say, too Paula. And quite honestly, I don't make her recipes very often. I just don't cook that way. But there are those times when you just have to try it. This is one of those times. I've heard it called Monkey Bread, but Paula calls hers Gorilla Bread. It's become an Easter staple in our house over the years. And it is SO good!

Start by spraying a bundt pan with non-stick spray and then putting about half a cup of nuts in the bottom of the pan (you will need a cup and a half total, of nuts, chopped). The recipe says walnuts, I used pecans.

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with 3 teaspoons (or 1 Tablespoon) of cinnamon. And set aside.

Take one stick of butter (I always always use unsalted for any kind of baking) and 1 cup of brown sugar and heat together in a saucepan, stirring until butter is just melted. Set aside.

Next you will need one 8 oz. package of cream cheese, cut into small cubes. And set aside. We're kind of creating a little assembly line here.

Now, it's time to get down to it and assemble this wackadoo bread thing. This recipe uses refrigerated biscuits. The recipe calls for 2 packages of 10 biscuits, but I used 2 packages of 8 Grands biscuits and cut each in half. Take a biscuit and spread it out a little with your fingers and then sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top. Then place one of the cream cheese cubes in the middle.

Then roll it up into a ball. Try and seal that cream cheese in there!

Then you want to layer them over the nuts in the bundt pan. First in one layer and then pour half of the butter/brown sugar mixture over the top of them. And then more nuts!! OMG, I'm going into cinnamon sugar ecstasy right now and I've already eaten it!!

Repeat this process until all the biscuits are filled and placed inside the pan. Make sure you have some of the butter/brown sugar mixture and nuts saved for the top. Oh... oh my. I wish I had some leftover!

Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes. And when done, let cool for about 5 minutes before you invert it onto a platter. Make sure you don't let it cool in the pan too long or the brown sugar/butter will end up getting too sticky too release from the pan. It will still be warm though and may collapse a little onto itself. But it doesn't matter! This is finger food anyway. It's fun to pull apart and eat those delectable little pillows of love.

And of course, I had to take to even another level. I had cream cheese frosting leftover from a batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes I made for a customer for Easter, so I put that on the side in a bowl so when you pull off one of these nutty cinnamon delights, you could dip it in even more cream cheese! Which worked out well, because you'll find that the little blocks of cream cheese do kind of bake into the biscuit some.

Gorilla Bread
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.


Karen said...

I've never seen this recipe with the cream cheese addition, looks awesome! I'll have to try it this weekend!

Jessica said...

Kathy, everything looks great! I may have to try this cream cheese version too.

cath said...

oh my Kathy there is NOTHING in this world better than butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. I am going to bookmark this recipe and try it during the holidays. WOW!