Sunday, September 18, 2016

Monkey Brains

My three children renamed Monkey Bread years ago after seeing it come out of the pan for the first time, and gave it the name Monkey Brains.  It stuck fast and even with the three of them grown and with their own families Pete and I still call it affectionately Monkey Brains.  It is a quick easy recipe.

One cup of sugar with a teaspoon of cinnamon for rolling the balls of dough in, before placing them in a bundt pan.  For the dough I used my favorite roll recipe made for my bread machine.  In 90 minutes I had the dough ready to roll in individual balls of dough about 1 inch in size.  I used a small bundt pan, so one batch was perfect.  Years ago and even now when our children and grandchildren visit, I make two batches and use a standard size bundt pan.  For the dough I have seen recipes that use biscuits from a tube or a bag of frozen rolls from the freezer section at the grocery store, thawed.  I chose to use walnuts this time.  I like to use pecans or cashews as well.  All three kinds of nuts are delicious in this recipe.  For the caramel sauce put 3/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of butter and a pinch of salt in a saucepan on medium high heat. A rapid simmer is perfect to achieve the thickness for the caramel sauce to pour over the dough and nuts, without becoming runny. After taking caramel sauce off heat add 1 teaspoon vanilla. I make the same amount of caramel sauce every time, but for this small Monkey Brains I did not use all of the caramel sauce.  It is an individual decision on how much you want to use.  If you want extra gooey use the whole batch of caramel sauce.

After layering dough in alternate rows with nuts and caramel sauce allow the Monkey Brains to rest for 30 minutes before putting in the oven.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Delicious and fun to make.  Great to eat for breakfast with a glass of milk, or for dessert with coffee or tea, or as a snack after school with a glass of juice.  We have enjoyed Monkey Brains many times in all the ways I listed, over the years.  It was made extra fun because of the children renaming it.  A recipe to keep and use always.
Rooney has been a helpful assistant in cleaning and reorganizing closets these past two weeks.  She helped me discover some knitting garments I had made and stowed away for safe keeping, or just in case our children wanted them when they come to visit and look through the cedar chest.  A kind of walk down memory lane in knitting garments.  It was fun remembering with Rooney by my side the scarves and hats I had knitted over the years to keep family members warm and stylish.  Is there anything better than a handmade knitted garment?!  It is heartwarming to remember fun recipes that brought the family together with fun and happiness.  It is great to go over the memories with our food and our handmade knitted garments or other handmade clothes or handmade furniture, etc., because there is a great blessing by doing so.  It gives the brain and heart a delightful sensation. Our positive memories bless us with the desire to make more positive memories, and in turn it blesses us with a healthy attitude and in turn blesses us with good health.
Rooney volunteered to model a red scarf I had made about twenty years ago.  It was so fun seeing it again. One of many projects I knitted while watching my children in sports games!  Seeing this scarf was like seeing an old friend.  Pete and I did a lot of bench warming and cheering!  And afterwards a lot of feeding of very hungry children.  Rooney buried her nose in the scarf when I pulled it out of the cedar chest, and I think that is when I decided it was time to make a batch of Monkey Brains!

Enjoy a batch of Monkey Brains & Sweet Memories from something handmade,

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