It's quite easy to assign blame to your mom, especially when she introduces you to a recipe that will clearly become your downfall. It's everything Paula Deen stands for -- dough, butter, sugar and fat. And oh my gosh, is it good. I could devour the entire thing. I'd be ill for a bit, but it would be quite worth the pain.
Monkey Bread is a Southern treat of pull-apart bread sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, butter and pecans. But Ms. Paula takes it one step further -- by adding a slab of cream cheese smack in the middle of the biscuit dough. I can't describe the fattening goodness of this concoction.
So when Anne at A Good American Wife had a party Saturday night to the theme of bringing something you shamefully love to eat, this came to mind. (In a close second was green bean casserole. What is it about green bean casserole that I can't get enough of? The canned green beans? The Campbell's soup? The canned fried onions? Oh, yeah.. It's the whole spectacular combination of it all.)
Back to the Gorilla Bread -- it was a hit, if I do say so myself. (Just read Anne's review of it.) A lot of it is the warm cream cheese oozing from the dough. Some would recommend eating this for breakfast but I'm just not a huge sweets-in-the-morning person, so I save it for other occasions. Prepare to be addicted. But don't say I didn't warn ya.
Paula Deen's Gorilla Bread (adapted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts or 3/4 cup chopped walnuts + 3/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray (I found success with a regular round pan). Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. (Add a few splashes of rum and cook an additional minute or two. Or use a different flavored liqueur or flavored extract.)
Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. (I found it worked best to make these into balls and then squashing them back into biscuit size to fully enclose the cream cheese.)
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts.
Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.