Sweet, Spice, and Oh, So Nice
Over the years I have made my share of fancy cakes, tarts, and Danishes, but every once in a while I come back to the old standby of monkey bread. No one ever said it had to be just for the kids, and when served on nice plates with forks it makes a very respectable adult dish. It might even be the perfect thing to sweeten up your next tea party or brunch. Traditional tea sandwiches, quiches, tarts, and cheese platters are served best at parties when balanced out with a something a little buttery and sweet. You might even consider serving it at a cocktail party or summer barbecue. I don’t think anyone would blame you.
This particular monkey bread recipe is made super easy by utilizing premade biscuits. While I prefer the way that buttermilk biscuits flake apart easily, nearly any buttery biscuit type will do -- just be sure they can be cut into bite-sized pieces. Using premade biscuits means you can easily get the bread into the oven in less than 10 minutes.
The recipe is also made a little more sophisticated by the addition of traditional chai spices that give it a nice bold and unique flavor. It is a great companion to a bright tea such as Sunshine in a Cup or a more traditional Afternoon High Tea, but of course can be served with a chai or breakfast tea as well.
Chai Monkey Bread
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cans buttermilk biscuits cut into 4ths
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a bundt pan.
In a large bowl, combine the sugars, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves until well blended.
In batches, add the biscuit pieces and toss until they are well coated with the sugar spice mixture. Place the coated pieces in the bundt pan. Continue until all pieces are coated and placed in the pan.
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and stir in the vanilla. Evenly pour the butter mixture over the top of the biscuit pieces and place in the oven.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Place a serving tray on top and flip over the bundt pan. The bread should release so that the pan can be removed.
all photos courtesy of author