Disclaimer: No monkeys were harmed in the making of this bread.
At the school where I work, Thursday is always our 'Diner Day' where we let the kids kick back and watch a movie and indulge in some special treat. Ideally, we like to choose ones where the kids are involved in the making process. They just love to get their hands dirty! And there is something all the more enjoyable when beholding the final product when it is created by your own hands....
I was racking my brain last night for a good food project to do with them. My co-teacher has decided to let me handle the baking projects from now on as he claims I "seem to know what I'm doing." ;-) As a matter of fact, the process of creating and baking enthralls me, so I couldn't be more happy to oblige.
Even artists have 'writers' block' some days; I was rather stuck in the mire last night. But then the thought came to me of this moist, gooey, sugary treat Ryan had made one day for his co-workers and left me a bite of. Its main components are sugar and cinnamon. Actually, it is ideal if you are craving cinnamon rolls but are short on time.
He kindly acquiesced to my request. And, I can honestly say, had he been present, the children probably would have trampled him to death with their affection, they were so in love with his yummy monkey bread. (Although, initially, some where seriously concerned that we would be making bread with monkeys in it....that's just gross.)
All it takes is 4 cans of refridgerated buttermilk rolls (such as Pillsbury) which are cut into forths and rolled around in some cinnamon and sugar. To get the kids involved, I gave each of them 8 pieces in a sandwich baggie and dumped a bit of the cinnamon/sugar mixture inside. We had them shake up the baggies for a good 5 minutes. Probably that much time was unnecessary, but it kept them entertained. Certainly important. :-)
We then placed all the little cinnamon and sugar balls into a buttered pan (traditionally, this is done in bundt pan, but in a pinch you can use any old baking dish), and drizzled them with 1/2 c. of melted butter and 1 c. of brown sugar mixed together. This forms a nice caramelly crust on top when baked.
They go into the oven at 350 F for 25 minutes -- and voila! -- monkey bread....sans the monkeys.