“Drunken Monkey” Bread
There’s nothing quite like sticky gooey Monkey Bread to give you that early morning sugar rush and sense of satisfaction. My “Drunken Monkey” bread recipe is just the thing to make your Christmas morning even more special.
Christmas morning: the true story of Christmas has been read, presents are unwrapped, the kids have stars in their eyes as they flutter around, trying to decide what to play with first. Dad is tenaciously assembling toys with a million pieces each, and you…
You, in your robe and new Christmas jammies, have picked up the wrapping paper and are now working on a brilliant holiday breakfast to keep the Christmas magic alive.
In planning for meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I like to incorporate dishes that can be made ahead. That way, during all the excitement, I’m not tucked away in the kitchen, missing out on memory-making moments.
My monkey bread recipe is a dish I make only on very special occasions. It’s rich, loaded with flavor, and ultra sweet–so much so, I’d feel bad serving it to my kids on regular mornings, then sending them off for teachers to manage.
Christmas morning is different, though.
The little nippers are so hyped-up on Christmas magic, a bit of sugar isn’t going to make much of a difference.
I first remember eating Monkey Bread at my Aunt Millie’s house, as a little girl.
Aunt Millie had a strong personality, an infectious laugh, and whole lot of spunk. I could count on her to have sticky-sweet Monkey Bread, hot and ready for the holidays, and a big smile and joke for her nieces and nephews.
This monkey bread recipe is in honor of Aunt Millie, who I’m certain did not liquor-up her version, but would have loved it all the same.
Adding a little booze to your monkey bread recipe, is strictly about flavor.
Along with the butter, sugar, and orange zest, a nip of your favorite liquor will saturate the dough, and leave a rich undertone that makes monkey bread just as exciting for the grownups as the kids.
Most of the alcohol evaporates while the bread is baking, so I’m comfortable serving it to the entire family.
This particular monkey bread recipe is a quickie version, incorporating frozen bread dough, to decrease your time in the kitchen.
You can make it “ahead” in two different ways.
1. One day ahead, let the dough rise according to package instructions. Then cut and sugar the dough, place it in a bundt pan, and pop it in the fridge. On Christmas morning simply whisk together the syrup, pour over the top, and bake.
2. Christmas Eve night, place the dough out to thaw and rise over night, covered in plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Christmas morning, cut and sugar the dough, place it in a bundt pan, immediately pour the syrup over the the top, and bake.
The differences in the two methods:
Method 1 needs to bake a little longer (approximately 1 hour) and creates of a tender uniform loaf that you slice, but takes less of your time on Christmas morning.
Method 2 takes a little more time to put together in the morning, yet bakes faster (approximately 40 minutes) and comes out of the pan as more of a segmented pull-apart bread.
Both methods bake up a ridiculously moist and flavorful breakfast bread with a crusty exterior, that will be a hit Christmas morning.
I plan to serve Drunken Monkey Bread with egg souffles and fresh berries, a meal my family will certainly remember.
Yield: 8-12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes active time (+ thaw and rise time)
Cook Time: 40-60 minutes
Drunken Monkey Bread Recipe
- 3 pounds frozen bread dough or rolls, not the partially bakes varieties (Rhodes)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice spice (or 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon + 1/2 tsp. nutmeg + 1/2 tsp. clove + 1/2 tsp ginger)
- 2 1/2 sticks melted butter (1 1/4 cups)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Bourbon (Amaretto, Cognac, Brandy...)
- Zest of 1 orange
- Place the frozen dough on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Spray a large sheet of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover the dough. Allow the dough to thaw and rise for 3-5 hours, according to package instructions.
- Once the dough has doubled or tripled in size, butter (or spray with cooking spray) a large 12-15 cup capacity bundt pan. Mix the granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. Then use kitchen sheers to snip the dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks. Dust the dough chunks with the sugar mixture and place in the bundt pan. *At this point, you can cover the top and refrigerate over night.
- Move the oven rack to the bottom position and take out the other racks to give the monkey bread room to rise. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, liquor, and orange zest together in a large microwave safe bowl. Bring the mixture to a boil in the microwave--2 minutes. Then pour over the monkey bread dough and place in the oven.
- Bake for 40-60 minutes, until the top is brown, crusty and rising over the top of the pan.
Other Christmas Morning Breakfast Ideas:
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