Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monkey Bread!

So, today I saw a recipe for monkey bread, which to tell you the truth I had no clue what it was until about 2 hours ago. I had heard of it before on, believe it or not, Beauty Shop --the movie. Ya know, the part where the crazy lady comes in with her soul food and acts like a monkey and stuff. You know what I'm talkin about.

Anyways so, I was on probably my new favorite cooking blog, The Pioneer Woman Cooks (more on her blog later), and she did a post on monkey bread. I then realized, the bread was not this odd or gross concoction I had imagined it to be but pretty much it was cinnamon a pull-apart. And its delicious.

The recipe I used is an adaptation from PW's and the one I found on Pillsbury's web site mostly adapted for size, although the ingredients are the same except I did not use buttermilk biscuits. Instead, I used homestyle small biscuits that came in a 4 pack of ten biscuits which is more physical biscuits although it equals less then the amount of weight of biscuits PW uses and the same as Pillsbury. I know confusing, but it works.

I made it the same way as Pillsbury states, I cut up each biscuit into 4 sections and put it in a bag tossed with white sugar and cinnamon. I then stuck it in a tube pan laced with PAM spray and then poured a thick mixture of brown sugar and butter on top. I popped it in the oven for probably around 35 minutes. I say probably because I put the timer on for 10 and then another 7 and then 10 then I put aluminum foil hat over it to keep the top from overly browning and then another 10, at least I think.

And then there was the whole pan debacle. See, I used this old tube pan that I had only used once before for an angel food cake that had a removable bottom. Well the pan leaked sugar-butter all over my oven. It smoked up a mess and went crazy burning and well this weekend I am going to have to seriously deep clean that thing. I would do it tonight but I am kind of intensely busy with school. I'm lucky to have time to write this, seriously after this its homework.

Anyways, moral of the story: Put a lipped pan under your tube pan.

Monkey Bread Recipe from Pioneer Woman, with her excellent step by step photos.
Pillsbury's Monkey Bread: I made it without walnuts

Yay! I finally uploaded a suitable picture.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Well I made the cookies this weekend,no two weekends ago. I did make them in ice cream cone/cupcake shapes, however I only took pictures of the final cupcake ones although the ice cream cone ones were just darling [cuter than the cupcakes]. I made them out of the recipe I got from Cookie Craft [seriously, pick up a copy of this-its like the bible of cut-out cookies and all you can do with them].
Cupcake Cookie 1
The recipe calls for the zest of a whole lemon, and usually I like my sugar cookies slightly lemony but once you add the royal icing which has lemon in it [more on that later,] they turn into lemon cookies not sugar cookies, however the texture is just right they didn't spread at all in the oven and didn't burn easily. The book also includes a chocolate recipe, and nut cookie recipe.

Now onto the icing. I also used the royal icing recipe used in the book although usually I use the one out of my Martha Stewart's Cookies book. The one from Martha is only made with meringue powder, while in Cookie Craft they give you a recipe for meringue powder, liquid egg whites, and powdered egg white. I would have used any of them but meringue powder was what was in my pantry. In Craft, they also include two different quantities for each egg product, and a different recipe for flood and piping icing, which is something most recipes don't do. Martha's recipe only includes one quantity, and one consistency.
They also include the very helpful hint of how long you must beat your icing. Wow! I had been doing it very wrong. They recommend beating your icing for 5 minutes with a Kitchenaid, or like product, and 10 minutes with a hand mixer, which really really makes a difference in both your piping and flooding icing, although it is a pain in the butt to hold up your feeble hand mixer for 10 minutes.
Cupcake Cookies
Speaking of which, I so wish I had a Kitchenaid stand mixer. At first, I was being picking saying I wanted the Artisan model mostly for the colors [Hello, pink or baby blue!] ,but also for the bigger bowl and power.I used the ones in our school kitchens and they were a pain to get the bowl out because to lift it up you got the stuff on the spoon again. They had a crank-lift head. So now I have decided I just want a Kitchenaid even if it is their low end Classic model [ but still expensive in these times $150].
However I want an Artisan model for my birthday in July so hopefully I will get that because I have been baking at least once a week and using the hand mixer [ a cheap model I got for my birthday last year] for that. I have also been using the argument that the Kitchenaid will last a lifetime and is a great investment.
See my parents have a stand mixer, I think a Sunbeam, that is straight out of an 80s wedding catalog, almond and brown color scheme and all, that's also broken and badly designed. So I cant use that. Seriously, a kitchenaid is not an appliance, its a tool, and it has the quality to last.
Yay! I finally got one for my birthday!