Monkey bread

Monkey Bread – Lots of Options

By now, many of you have seen the video for Chocolate Cream Cheese Stuffed Monkey Bread. If you haven’t, check it out here.

Yummy, right?

Charlie came home from work and asked if I had seen the video. Usually, if he brings something to my attention face-to-face, instead of just on Facebook, I know he’s interested. I was going to town anyway, so I decided to pick up the ingredients.

A twenty minute drive to the store allows plenty of time to think about what you’re shopping for. I like cream cheese, but it seemed like maybe I could do something different. S’mores-inspired monkey bread, with marshmallows instead of cream cheese, sounded pretty good. But then, so did caramel apple monkey bread. Once I got to the store, I saw raspberries. Oooh, that would be good with chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips), too.

I took a pass on the raspberries, and decided to make 1/2 cream cheese, and 1/2 cinnamon apple. I picked up walnuts, cream cheese, caramel bits and apples, and refrigerator biscuits. I have everything else at home, in the pantry.

I peeled and chopped 2 apples, and mixed them with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. I also cut the cream cheese into cubes. In the video, it shows the biscuits being cut in half. There are only 8 biscuits, and it seemed like I needed more than 16 pieces, so I cut them in quarters.  Smooshing the quarters into large enough pieces to accommodate the cream cheese or the apples took a little work.

The video speeds up to show making the little balls. That’s because it’s really tedious. It takes awhile to stuff them and squish the dough together. Not hard, but it probably took about 30 minutes. Allow time for this if you decide to try this.

I put a chunk of cream cheese and a few chocolate chips in half of the dough pieces. In the other half, I put the cinnamon apples and a few caramel bits. As I finished each batch, I shook, shook, shook them in the cinnamon sugar. I put the cream cheese balls on one side of the pan, and the cinnamon apple on the other side, layering them with walnuts and glaze like the video instructs.

After baking and plopping them on a plate, the filling stayed hot a long time. I would say, count on letting them cool 10-20 minutes before serving.

Carly and the kids had come for dinner, so I had lots of taste testers. Both kinds were good, but the Cinnamon Caramel Apple was by far the favorite. The kids called them Cinnamon Apple Pops. They were like little, mini apple pies. That half of the plate went pretty fast. The cream cheese half went too, but not quite as fast.

Notes for next time:  1) Get two rolls of biscuits and cut them in half, instead of quarters. I think it may cut down on the prep time, not having to squish the biscuits so thin. Then again, it may end up being too doughy. OR, I could squish them thin, and just have room to put more filling in them. 2) Get raspberries. After the success of the Cinnamon Caramel Apple, I want to see what the family thinks of Chocolate Raspberry.

Bottom line, this recipe was a hit! If the cream cheese and chocolate, or the caramel cinnamon apple doesn’t sound good to you, think about what does. I think this recipe is only limited by your imagination. Any kind of pie filling you like, could be wrapped up. If you’re pressed for time, I imagine store-bought pie filling would work in a pinch. If cinnamon doesn’t seem to go with what you’re doing, shake the balls in just sugar. Instead of a brown sugar and butter glaze, maybe powdered sugar would be better.

Give it a try and let me know what you do! I’m sure there are lots of great ideas.