I baked today! I’ll wait for an applause. Oh no really, you’re too kind. Thank you, thank you, it was nothing.
Okay but for real, that was so easy! That’s coming from a girl who’s a pro at preparing meals that never cook all the way through or burning the actual hell out of them. But hey this wasn’t half bad! My mom decided to give me a chance in the kitchen today (bless her) and teach me a few family traditional desserts for Christmas Eve: Monkey bread and TEA RINGS. Excuse my extreme excitement over tear rings, it’s just I’ve never been able to get it right except for today! Hopefully my luck doesn’t end here.
Anyways, if you want to make either one of these, keep on reading! (Or if you want to see some sexy desserts, be my guest) I’ll try my best to be as specific as possible!
MONKEY BREAD (aka the easiest recipe to ever exist) :
What you need: cinnamon, brown and white sugar, a stick of melted butter, and some dough (homemade for pros, premade for chumps like me). SO EASY.
- If you’re a pro, you’ll preheat the oven at 350 Fahrenheit (or around 177 Celsius). I’m not a pro, but my mom is so we were good.
- Get a circular, deep pan with handles. You’ll eventually be flipping this thing over so the handles are kind of important.
- Then make a mixture of cinnamon, brown sugar, and white sugar. Just eye the measurements to your taste. We like a 2 to 1 ratio with sugar to cinnamon.
- Make a layer of this dry mix at the bottom of the pan.
- Cut balls out of your dough, toss in dry mix. We put the dry mix in a big Ziploc bag, put a ball in, closed the bag, and tossed it around so it got coated.
- Place these balls in a circular fashion, starting from the outer edge to the center, making sure they are just barely touching (so there is room for them to rise in the oven).
- Once the pan is full, put another layer of the dry mix on the top of the balls.
- Then add your melted butter around the edges of the pan (the butter will travel through little gaps in the balls and get to the center by itself).
Then just stick in the oven for around 25-30 minutes until the dough is properly cooked through. After it is completely baked, flip the monkey bread over onto another plate (very tricky/ the only tricky part about this all) and viola!
Absolutely stunning, if you ask me. To eat you just take it apart, ball by ball. Enjoy!
TEA RINGS (aka slightly trickier for chumps, but still easy for the majority) :
What you need: Flour, dough, cinnamon, brown and white sugar, room temperature butter (malleable), and some water.
- Pro tip: Preheat! 350 Fahrenheit, chumps (or around 177 Celsius).
- Roll out your dough around the length of your standard cutting board, and around a quarter to a half of an inch thick. (Flour is your best friend at this point so nothing sticks. Flour everything!)
- Then once its like an oval (or a rectangle with roundish sides), make a inner oval out of butter, leaving about a half inch between the perimeter of the butter oval and the dough oval.
- Cover this butter oval with a thick layer of that same dry mixture from the monkey bread recipe (cinnamon, brown sugar, white sugar).
- Add a thin layer of cinnamon over the dry mixture.
- Roll this oval up (bottom to top) and pinch the left over lip of dough to wherever it connects on the roll. This works best if you use a little bit of water on your fingers as glue. If the dough gets too sticky, just add more flour. Do this for as long as it takes to make the roll sturdy. It’ll look like a burrito with a seam down it.
- Then make a ring shape and connect the ends together with the same water and pinch method. (This is the hardest part, but I believe in you!)
- Once it’s a sturdy ring, you’ll want to make a couple slits in the dough (avoiding the seams) so hot air can escape the tea ring without destroying your art.
Then pop it in the oven at 350 Fahrenheit for around 20 minutes, or until it goes brown, and BAM the best tasting thing in all of mankind. To eat, you just cut the ring into slices, and you’ll die at the ooey-gooey beautifulness inside.
SO, to sum up: I’m so proud of myself, and I know my great-grandma would be, too. Also, Christmas Eve is going to taste so good tomorrow!
Happy holidays everyone!