Monkey Reunion + Monkey Bread = Happy Monkeys

Last week, one of my close friends and a former mentor, Michelle Huang, came to visit all the way from California, and let’s just say we did a lot of monkeying around. Now maybe I should back up and give you all a little bit of context. Michelle and I first met at Reader to Reader towards the end of September 2015. At first, we mostly hang out at the Reader to Reader office, but we quickly realized that we enjoyed each other’s company and started hanging out outside of Reader to Reader too. It wasn’t long before we were spending several hours every day together, eating, working on our theses (more like attempting to), and distracting each other with random, funny things we saw. With the amount of laughing and goofing off we did, we become known as “the monkeys” at Reader to Reader. And the nickname definitely stuck, because the amount of monkeying around we did last week was not even a fraction of the monkeying around we did last year, often when we claimed to be writing our theses.

Then one day, Sylvia was going to be away for a tea time, so she bestowed upon us the responsibility of leading tea time. Embracing our nickname, we decided that we could not make anything more fitting than monkey bread. (Fun fact: Monkey bread’s name comes from the fact that it’s a finger food that we supposedly pick apart in a way monkeys would.) So we made Classic Caramel Monkey Bread and Chocolate Peanut Butter Monkey Bread (based off of recipes from Pillsbury). Here’s a throwback to March 4, 2016 with the monkeys in action:

Monkey bread

Photo credit to David Mazor and the Reader to Reader Facebook page

Back in the present, we decided to honor our reunion by once again making monkey bread. On the menu this time, we decided to try a savory monkey bread, more specifically, Cheesy Herb Monkey Bread (from Pillsbury), and we followed that with dessert and made Classic Caramel Monkey Bread (again, also from Pillsbury).

Since this wasn’t an official tea time (which meant that we wouldn’t have a bunch of mentors to be our wonderful kitchen assistants), we decided to make our lives a little easier and use pre-made refrigerated biscuit dough. Once we prepped that by opening the cans, separating the biscuits, and cutting them into quarters, we were ready to give the biscuits some character and flavor.

For the Cheesy Herb Monkey Bread, we dipped the biscuit quarters in a mixture of melted butter, dried dill weed, and garlic powder, threw half of them in a bundt pan, sprinkled shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese over them, threw in the remaining half of the biscuit quarters, and then sprinkled more cheese over them. And then, it was ready to go into the oven! Thirty (long) minutes later, it was ready to be devoured! We almost couldn’t wait for it to cool down, but we knew we should so as not to risk burning our fingertips.

While we nibbled on that monkey bread, we prepped the Caramel Monkey Bread. We started by coating the biscuit quarters in a cinnamon sugar mixture, throwing them into a pan (since we didn’t want to wait to wash the bundt pan we made the other monkey bread in), and then pouring a butter-brown sugar mixture over them. And just like that, it was ready to go into the oven as well.

The Cheesy Herb Monkey Bread was long gone before we took the Caramel Monkey Bread out of the oven, and since we were all stuffed by then, we didn’t actually get through all of the Caramel Monkey Bread, but leftovers are never a problem around here! 🙂

Monkey Bread was a wonderful way to cap off Monkey Michelle’s visit!

– Monkey Kunali
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