I wanted to make my kids something special for Christmas breakfast but I didn't want to spend hours in the kitchen that morning or the night before. I wanted something that was fun, informal and yet festive. The idea of monkey bread came to mind suddenly and we hadn't had it in years. In the past I've made it with raisins, but this year I decided to make it a bit more festive with almonds and cranberries.
Our result was a delicious success! We had made so much in fact, that there was plenty enough leftover for our New Year's Morning breakfast. (I Simply transferred the remainders to a glass pie dish in which I will quickly re-bake and serve them. This recipe is simple enough to feed the family and yet special enough to serve guests at a Sunday brunch.
While one could make the dough from scratch if one was so inclined, I have great success using Pillsbury™ Grands!™ - and this recipe has been adapted from the Pillsbury site.
Prep 15 minutes
Cook time 35 minutes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) of Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers refrigerated Original biscuits
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 large plastic Zip-Lock type bag
Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 12-cup tube pan. In large plastic Zip-Lock type bag, add the granulated sugar and cinnamon and shake well in the bag, then add the almonds and the cranberries.
Separate the 16 biscuits from both cans, cutting each into about 6 pieces. Gently roll each piece into a ball, then and add them to the sugar mixture in the bag. When each ball has been added, seal the bag tightly and shake well ensuring that each piece is well covered.
In small saucepan add the brown sugar, butter and almond extract. Stir well as the butter begins to melt, incorporating the sugar into the mixture. When the butter and sugar have blended together, removed from heat and set aside.
Pour out the dough, sugar, nuts and cranberries into the tube pan, arranging so that the pan is evenly covered, then pour the warm butter mixture over the dough balls, as evenly as possible.
Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and none of the balls seem doughy in the center. Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Turn over, upside, down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm. (As you'll notice above mine doesn't have the hole in the middle from the tube pan. It was still pretty warm when I tried to flip it over onto the plate and the center collapsed! I still think it looked pretty and it tasted delicious!