Simple Monkey Bread

I have been dreaming about making (and eating) a sweet tear and share monkey bread for quite some time now. There are so many fantastic looking recipes out there, but the one thing that was stopping me, was that I just don’t have time to make bread! We bake a lot at home, and for the past two New Years, my resolutions have included getting to grips with making home made bread dough and overcoming my fear of it all going horribly wrong. Maybe another goal for 2015! For now, I’ve come up with a quick, easy, more healthy and (most importantly) kid friendly recipe for making monkey bread.Firstly, the bread dough is ready made. I don’t normally buy ingredients like this, but sometimes, as a busy Mother, I feel like making life easier for myself! Secondly, this recipe uses coconut blossom palm sugar rather than refined white ‘table’ sugar. Coconut palm sugar retains many of the nutrients found in the coconut palm and it has a much lower glycemic index than refined sugar – so it is being used more and more in health food recipes. It has a lovely natural toffee taste and works so well for a recipe like this.

The boys loved rolling the dough balls through the cinnamon coconut sugar and sprinkling the nuts, cranberries and chocolate chips through the layers. The finished monkey bread was really delicious. It is best served warm from the oven, but we found ourselves picking off cold pieces for a couple of days!

For me, the key to baking with children (especially with this recipe) is to prepare all of the ingredients before hand, make sure any hot ingredients or equipment is always supervised, let them nibble on the ingredients, don’t let them eat raw dough balls (mine did try!) and give them lots of praise along the way. Oh and watch little ones with the chopped nuts, you may want to leave them out, or remove them after the bread has baked.

For this festive monkey bread recipe you will need:

2 cans of ‘just rol’ ready made bread rolls (or you can use 2 cans of pillsbury buttermilk biscuits) (I’m from the UK so some of our brands over here can be different)
½ cup of coconut palm sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup of butter or margarine
3⁄4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1⁄4 cup of cranberries
1⁄4 cup of chopped walnuts
1⁄4 cup of dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a round bundt tin, or large round cake tin. If you are using the ready-made bread rolls, open the cans up and chop each roll into four small dough balls (or cut the biscuit mix into small balls also). Mix the ½ cup of coconut palm sugar with the cinnamon in a large flat dish and roll each dough ball through the sugar mix to coat them. Arrange the sugar coated dough balls into the baking dish, and sprinkle the cranberries, walnuts and chocolate chips through the layers as you go. Next, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the 3⁄4 cup of coconut palm sugar. Mix quickly as when heated, the coconut sugar solidifies – but don’t worry, it will melt down during the baking. Pour this melted mixture over the top of the monkey bread. Place in the oven and bake for around 30 minutes, until puffed up and golden. Leave the monkey bread to cool in the baking dish for 10 minutes or so, before turning it out onto a plate. It is best eaten warm – and shared!

For more recipes, photos, parenting chatter and lifestyle ideas – you can find Catriona over at her blog, here.

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