Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Monkey Bread

I've always loved monkeys.  Starting as a young girl when I so wanted a diaper wearing monkey  to carry around on my hip a la Michael Jackson and Bubbles.  My father loved giving and receiving cards with monkeys on the cover.  He would open one up and immediately start aping (sorry, couldn't resist) the monkey's expression.  One of my daughter Savannah's first nicknames was Savannah Banana which grew into Savannah Banana the Monkey Girl.  Savannah Banana the Monkey Girl even had her own theme song courtesy of her silly mama.  And I have to say, I'm kind of famous for my monkey impression.  At least in my house and anywhere I don't have sense enough not to totally humiliate myself by screeching like a monkey .  

But for some reason, I've never been a big fan of monkey bread.  Until recently.  I made a pizza monkey bread for the Super Bowl and it was pretty damn awesome.  Once I realized monkey bread could be so much more than cinnamon dusted dough I was sold.  My head has been filled with ideas for savory monkey breads since the big game but first I had to make this sweet chocolate caramel stuffed version from King Arthur Flour.

Frozen bread dough has become one of my favorite convenience ingredients.  KAF provides instructions for making the dough from scratch but I went the lazy route and used the frozen stuff.  Defrosting it overnight in the refrigerator makes it super easy to use for morning preparations like this.  You will still need to let the dough rise but for only about an hour.  It's also a great family project.  Let the little ones help fill the dough or whisk the glaze.  Perfect for a Sunday morning.

Oh my this was good.  Like monkeys screeching in the jungle good.  Each puzzle piece of dough browned with butter and sticky with vanilla glaze holds a delightful little surprise.  As you bite into a piece, the soft dough yields to reveal a pool of warm chocolate and caramel.  Yum.  

The options here are endless.  Monkey around with fillings.  Use a variety of chocolate.  Add nuts.  Omit the caramel.  Add raisins or other dried fruit.  Sprinkle on some spices.  Change up the glaze.  How about white chocolate chips with dried blueberries and a lemon glaze?  Milk chocolate chips with some hazelnuts and a Nutella glaze?  Like I said, endless options.  

Whatever you decide to fill or top your bread with, just make it.  Your little monkeys will be happy you did.  My monkey girl certainly was!

Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Monkey Bread
adapted from King Arthur Flour

40 frozen bread dough rolls

Filling and Topping
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 to 3/4 cup caramel bits or pieces of caramel cut into small pieces
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Vanilla Glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream

Lay frozen rolls on cookie sheet, allowing a bit of room between each one.  Cover with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Place in refrigerator and allow to defrost overnight.  

Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray.  

Pull dough out of refrigerator and lightly flatten a roll.  Place a few chocolate chips and a couple of pieces of caramel in the center.  The amount you use is totally up to you and I opted for 3-4 chips and 2-3 caramel bits in each piece of dough.  Pull the dough up around the filling and pinch the edges lightly to ensure there aren't any gaps in the dough where the filling can ooze out.  Place roll seam side up in the bundt pan.  Repeat with remaining rolls and placein the pan in layers.

Combine melted butter and vanilla in a bowl and pour over the dough.  Cover pan with a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray and set in a warm place.  Allow dough to rise, about 45 to 60 minutes, or until puffy.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on the outside.  

Immediately turn the bread out onto a large plate or serving platter.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.  

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by whisking together the confectioners' sugar, cream, and vanilla in a medium sized bowl.  Start with two tablespoons of cream and add a tablespoon at a time as needed until you reach a smooth and pourable consistency.  Pour over the bread and serve.

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  1. Wow, that looks fantastic--so festive! Monkey Bread is one of those confections I would NEVER have heard of, if it weren't for the Internet. I really like the combo of a not-to-sweet bread with sweeter fillings.

  2. You even added caramel! Yum! I too like to use the frozen bread dough when I make Monkey Bread. It's much quicker then waiting for your homemade bread to rise, etc, etc. I have also used canned biscuits and they worked really well as well. This one sounds fabulous. I have yet to make a chocolate monkey bread.

  3. Oh this has been on my to-do list for a while, it just sounds so amazing!! I love your shortcut, definitely makes life a little easier :)

  4. My daughter would love this. She'd probably be good for the whole day just as a thank you. :)

  5. Monkey Bread is one of my favorites to bake. I love the stuffed biscuits of chocolate and caramel. My family will love this:) Thanks for a great post:)

  6. This sounds so good! And guess what...I'm expecting a monkey impression at our next KFBA gathering! ;-)

  7. chocolate stuffed bread? Yes please! I love traditional monkey bread, but I will have to try this version very soon, since I am a die-hard chocoholic!


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