The title given this recipe on the blog where I found it (“Top With Cinnamon”… a delight) was “Quick Mini Monkey Breads”. And while the end product IS a miniature monkey bread, in my case there was nothing quick about it. Whether it’s just me, or whether Top With Cinnamon’s author is one of those people who has magical powers in the kitchen that makes everything easy and fabulous, I do not know. What I do know is that I listened to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack two and a half times through before my mini monkey breads were finished. The power of the music of the night may be potent, but it wasn’t enough to speed the baking process along for me this morning.
None of this is a knock on the recipe. These things are rather addicting. Which is a problem, as I made them for church, and not just to cram my own face with. Which brings THIS song to mind.*
But enough rambling. On to the recipe!!!
Oh, and a happy Easter to one and all!
*I humbly ask my readers to please not judge my musical taste solely by the information presented in this blog post.
Mini Monkey Breads
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional extras: up to 1/4 a cup (4 tbsp) of chocolate chips, chopped nuts or dried fruits.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1-2 tsp cinnamon
For the Caramel:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup / golden syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk
optional: 1/3 cup chopped pecans
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together with a fork in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the bowl. Use a pastry blender or your finger tips to cut / rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips / nuts / dried fruit.
Combine the 1/3 cup (2 oz/ 55g) of sugar and cinnamon in a wide, shallow bowl. Set aside.
Make the caramel:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and corn syrup and continue heating and mixing until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla and milk. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees F) and grease a mini doughnut pan well (Note: I used a muffin pan). Put 1/2 – 1 tsp of the caramel mixture in the bottom of each cavity in the doughnut pan (if you refrigerated it overnight, you may need to warm it gently until its thin enough to do this). Then sprinkle in some chopped pecans (if using).
Using a fork, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and vanilla in a small jug. Add it to the flour mixture, and stir with the fork until just combined.
Take 1/2 teaspoons (or less) of the dough and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar and place into the doughnut pan – you should aim for 4-5 pieces of dough in each cavity, but the dough should only fill it 2/3 of the way.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, when they should be golden brown and slightly crusty on top. Let them cool in the pan for 2 minutes.
To remove them from the pan, first gently run a blunt knife around the outside of each monkey bread. Next twist each monkey bread, in the pan, with your hand to make sure it’s not stuck at all, then turn them out onto a cooling rack, being careful of the caramel. Drizzle on any extra caramel. Store in an airtight container once cool.
** If you want to kick it up a notch, you can use Nutella fudge sauce in place of, or in addition to, the caramel sauce. I did this, and I am telling you… I will be making it again. **