Monday, June 24, 2013

Cream Cheese Stuffed Mini Monkey Bread

Have you ever had monkey bread?

It's usually made with canned biscuit dough, butter, and cinnamon sugar.

And it is delicious.
Bonus points if you make your own biscuit dough.  I did not.  I did change things up a little bit and started with prepared sweet roll dough, cream cheese, and cinnamon sugar, and I ended with something amazing.  And when you have a sweet, ooey, gooey, cream cheesy breakfast-ish pastry, what do you do next? 
Top it with more cream cheese in the form of a glaze.  Yup, I went there. And you'll be happy I did.

I have to be honest with you - this recipe is an absurd amount of work.  Delicious? Yes.  But very tedious and labor intensive.  They will be amazing, and everyone you share them with will be really impressed by your level of dedication and thoughtfulness.
Cream Cheese Stuffed Mini Monkey Bread
You'll need...
For the pastries -
1 (13.9-ounce) can of prepared sweet roll dough
1 (3-ounce) package of cream cheese, diced into 48 pieces
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
For the glaze -
1 (3-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt
Get prepared...
For the pastries -
Chill and dice the cream cheese.  I went so far as to pop it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before trying to dice it.  The colder (and firmer) the cheese, the easier time you will have slicing and dicing.  Once you have it diced, put it back in the refrigerator until you need it.
Mix the white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly coat a 6 cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
For the pastries -
Open the sweet roll dough and place it on your work space.  Mine came with an orange glaze, which I discarded.  You can do the same, or you can use that glaze to top the Monkey Bread.
Unroll the dough so you have a long rectangle, then fold that rectangle in half to form a large square.  Pat, roll and just generally man handle the dough into a square that is roughly 9 by 9 inches.

Using a pizza cutter, or sharp knife, cut this square into 6 smaller (4.5 by 3 inch) rectangles - each one of these will become one mini monkey bread.
Next, cut each of the smaller rectangles into 8 equal pieces creating a total of 48 small pieces of dough. (I told you this would be tedious.) 
Now, coat each piece of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture,
and stuff with a piece of the diced cream cheese, but don't seal completely, 
and place in the prepared muffin pan, seam side up. 
Repeat these steps with the rest of the dough and cream cheese pieces.  You'll put two layers of dough balls in each muffin cup.  On the second layer, place the pieces seam side down.
Sprinkle the tops with the leftover cinnamon sugar mixture, and bake for 15 minutes or until the dough has popped over the top of the muffin cups and they don't feel sticky.  Top with glaze and serve while still warm.
For the glaze...
Combine softened cream cheese, cinnamon, vanilla, powdered sugar and salt in a bowl and mix until smooth.  Add milk one tablespoon at a time as needed to achieve desired consistency. 

You can eat this for breakfast!  I mean, it's basically a bagel, right?
And if you make them on a weekend, well, you just figured the secret to a pretty good weekend.
The top layer gets a crispy, sugary layer, and the bottom layer is chewy and the sugars caramelize like the best bite of the best middle of the pan cinnamon roll you've ever had. 
You're going to be the most popular person at your next brunch event.

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