While I was with Pat Lemieux at the Harvest Festival at the Bangor Civic Center in Bangor, Maine this past weekend, nothing garnered more attention among my mason jar desserts than the Maple Monkey Bread. Other than people being bewildered that you can bake in mason jars, the thought of this sweet indulgence known as Monkey Bread being cooked and served in a jar truly was a “Why didn’t I think of that” moment for everyone. Because canning jars are made to withstand very high temperatures, they are very durable and not easily broken. When I told everyone that these would make great parting gifts for family after the Holiday gathering to take home with them, many thought it would be a great gesture. Simply tie colorful ribbons and a name tag on each before placing in a decorative bag.
Maple Monkey Bread in a Jar
After this sweetness in a jar has been thoroughly cooled, you will notice about an inch or so of dark caramel on the bottom of each jar. This is a good thing! When you reheat this, all of this sweetness will be flowing over the top of the Monkey Bread so that every bite will be swimming in a rich, maple scented glaze. Now how can you beat that?
4 (1 pint) mason or canning jars
10 refrigerated biscuits, cut into quarters*
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 t. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using cleaned and dried jars and lids, spray inside of each glass jar with a generous amount of non-stick cooking spray and place them into a deep sided baking tray. Into a bowl, add sugars and cinnamon. Whisk together to combine. Place cut biscuits pieces into sugar mixture. Toss to combine and coat well. Evenly distribute coated biscuit pieces between the jars. I add 4 pieces of biscuit dough, then add a teaspoon of the sugar mixture sprinkled evenly over the dough. Drizzle with a teaspoon or so of maple syrup then add another layer of cinnamon/sugared dough. Repeat with the sugars and syrup. Only fill your jars about 3/4 of the way full, if you can do one more layer then go ahead. Sprinkle the top with more sugar/cinnamon mix and drizzle some syrup over the top. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the monkey bread has risen above the lip of the jars and is golden and bubbly. Allow jars to cool completely. As they cool, the monkey bread will sink to just below the top so you can tighten on the lids. Add a tag to the jar explaining how to serve, thusly:
“Loosen the lid completely. With the lid just laying on the jar, simmer the Monkey Bread in an inch of water for 10 minutes in a saucepan. Carefully remove from pot and invert onto a serving bowl, pouring the caramel that has collected on the bottom over the top of the Monkey bread. Enjoy with some shipped cream or ice cream if desired!
*By all means make your own biscuit dough. Just make sure when you roll it out, it isn’t thicker than about 1/2-3/4-inch high.