Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mini Monkey Muffins

I really shouldn’t be surprised, but it gets me every time…we have GORGEOUS weather Friday and then snow on Monday :(  SO not cute Mother Nature!!

The weekend wasn’t quite as nice as Friday, but I’ll take it!  Plus it was still great weather to be outside.  Thankfully the snow fell on my rest day…and boy did I need a rest day!

My schedule won’t always fall this way (luckily), but this weekend I had TWO dance rehearsals and had to fit in a run! 

Friday I had rehearsal from 6pm-9pm – once again, kicked my patootie!  Seriously though, this dance performance is going to be way harder than that half-marathon.  It’s like sprinting for 5 minutes straight and that’s only one of the pieces.

Needless to say my legs weren’t exactly “fresh” for a long run Saturday, but my foot is just starting to feel back to normal so I didn’t want to push it.  We only did 3.5 miles, but honestly I think that’s all I could take at the time. 

On Sunday I had dance rehearsal again from 6pm-8pm, and to make matters worse we had an off-leash group dog walk that morning.  Typically these walks are very leisurely, but of course the location on Sunday was VERY hilly!  Normally I love hills, but it was just one more thing my legs did NOT need.   He loved it though :)


Oh well, like I said, my schedule will not be like this often.  However my legs are screaming at me now. I think it’s high time I schedule a real massage :)

Somewhere in the middle of all this activity I got around to baking!!

Brian has been pestering asking me lately to make him Monkey Bread.  I’ve actually never had it, but I know what it is and it does sound delicious!! 

Then I remembered coming across this recipe from Joy the Baker!

So I got to work.


She described the dough as basically a pizza dough, and so I knew it would be a relatively simple process which worked best with my schedule that day.  I made the dough in the morning, and let it rise while we were out with the dog.

NOTE: I used half whole wheat flour and half white whole wheat flour.  I think if I did these again I would use half all purpose flour/half white whole wheat.  I really like them, but they might be a bit too “whole wheat” tasting for some…but truthfully I only had about 1/2 cup APF left so I had no choice!!

Mini Monkey Muffins 
adapted from Joy The Baker

1.5 cups Whole Wheat Flour (see note above about flours)
1.5 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp instant yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 T olive oil
1 T honey

2 T flour
1/2 cup granulated flour, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 T butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup 1% milk (I used skim and it was fine)
Raisins (about a handful, optional)

IMG_8349 Dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer with dough hook attachment, add flours, salt, and instant yeast.  Mix with a spoon.  Measure out warm water and add honey to warm water, stir until mostly dissolved.  Place bowl in mixer and turn on low.  Slowly add water/honey, and olive oil.  Mix with dough hook on low/med-low for about 1 min. 
Transfer to a bowl that has been sprayed with olive oil or cooking spray.  Flip dough once so all sides are coated with the oil and cover bowl with plastic wrap. 

Leave dough for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.

**refer to original recipe for non-stand mixer instructions

Once dough has risen, dump out onto a floured counter or board and gently pat the air out (be nice to your dough!).  Fold into a ball and let sit for 20-30 more minutes. 
Preheat your oven to 350

In a small bowl mix together 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.
IMG_8357 Now take out your dough, and gently work it out until it is about 3/4” thick.

Then I took a pizza cutter and sliced long thin strands of dough.  Then cut each strand into little bite size pieces.  Like so:
Keep going until it’s all cut up…but DON’T DO THIS!

Putting all your freshly cut dough bites in a pile results in STICKAGE!  I had to then re-separate a lot of the pieces.  So just give them some room :)

I then tossed 2T of flour over the dough, then my cinnamon sugar mixture and tossed to coat.

Meanwhile I made the “sauce”.  In a small saucepan over med-low heat I combined: the other 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, butter, and milk.  I heated this mixture for about 5 minutes until smooth.  You don’t want this to boil. 

This is when you add your raisins.  I added some to the sauce. 

Now grease your muffin tin.  I sprayed mine with canola oil spray. 
I tried to do a layer of dough balls, then sauce, then repeat but I think the best is to just fill up your muffin tins equally with dough chunks, and then spoon sauce over each pile.


Next I would recommend placing muffin tin on a larger cookie sheet incase of spillage…
Gooey caramely spillage!  (not quite as pretty on the bottom of my oven)

Let cool in pan for about 10min and transfer to cooling rack.  Then enjoy :)


Mini Monkey!IMG_8385
That caramel sauce is pretty addicting…I was using my finger to get the excess out of the emptied muffin tin :) 

Warm, doughy, cinnamon, raisin, sticky, caramel.  Yes please. 

Now if only that warm weather would return…

What’s your favorite stretch!???  I’ve been getting better with stretching, but now I need it for running AND dance…I have new flexibility goals more associated with dance but I’m wondering what some of your favorite stretches are so I can get some new ideas!


  1. Look at your rocking the workouts! Whoop! I wish we could see some of your dance numbers!! Josh LOVES monkey bread. His Mom used to make it all the time. In fact, she bought me a mold and I still haven't made it...bad wife ;) I think you've inspired me though! Hope it warms up for you

  2. I love your mini monkey breads! Jeff pesters me to make it sometimes too. I made it a while ago, and it definitely wasn't as healthy as your version (no whole wheat flour and tons of butter), but it was delicious! I don't think it's possible to go wrong with monkey bread.

    I love yoga stretches like downward dog and there's one where you tuck one leg under you and lean forward and then switch legs, and it feels amazing.

  3. I never knew you were doing dance?? That is awesome! I wish I had some rhythm but there just no hope in that department! ;)

    My favorite stretches are downward dog and pigeon pose!

  4. That mini money bread looks easy to make and delicious. I'm planning on making it this weekend.

  5. I've never tried or made monkey bread before but this looks AWESOME! I really want to give it a try sometime!

  6. These are so cute!! (And thanks for the tip about the stickage). I've never made monkey bread - this is a perfect recipe to get your fix but also be able to send a bunch of muffins with your husband to work (I'd eat it ALL!)

  7. Oh my gosh, I liveee for miniature treats!!

    I'm terrible at stretching... Do downward dogs count? lol

    Have a great day,

  8. I LOVE monkey bread and these mini muffins are such a good idea. Love Joy the Baker, too!