In his elegant street-trained Matt Scudder novels, Lawrence Block at one point has his ex-cop, ex-alcoholic unlicensed P.I. say that a case is at a point where what it needs is GOYAKOD — or, as he explains to a confederate, ‘Get off Your Ass and Knock On Doors.’ It is, he notes, a reliable form of intelligence-gathering, and a neccessary one.
I think of GOYAKOD a lot — when I sit down to write, as that’s the first step, or anytime the enormity of a task fazes me — if I can do one thing to start, it’s knock on a door. In cooking, the equivalent of GOYAKOD is actually making a dish — like I did this weekend, making Monkey Bread for the first time for a group brunch. A Southern treat — where hungy kids pick at it’s glazed balls of yeast dough like monkeys — it’s traditionaly made with rising dough. But who has time to rise and proof yeast dough? And so I set out to make cheater’s Monkey Bread —and, while I was at it, build up the flavor with some glazed and spiced nuts.
Pumpkin-Pie Spice Monkey Bread with Chili-Glazed Pecans and Cream Cheese Icing
2 16-oz tins of Whole Foods Store Brands Buttermilk Biscuits
2 sticks butter
1.5 C Brown Sugar
3/4 C. White Sugar
2 tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
3/4 C Chili-Glazed Pecans.
1) Preheat Oven to 400. Swiftly and deftly cut biscuits into quarters, form balls, toss in combination of white sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a bag; remove and place in greased bundt pan. While doing so, bring butter and sugar to low boil, watched carefully, for one minute, stirring often.
2) Layer balls and chili-glazed pecans. (Chili-Glazed Pecans: Toss 3 Tbsp sugar, 6 TBSP chili and water in pan with 1 tsp. canola oil. Heat on low, tossing to coat; cool.)
3) Pour butter/brown sugar combo into bundt pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool in Pan for 15. Depan. (If any doughspheres stick to the pan, remove gently with tongs and re-place in obvious negative space.)
4) Top with Cream Chese Icing — which, I learned through GOYAKOD, I made with a recipe that offered me 3x as much as I needed.
CREAM CHEESE ICING, Properly Proportioned:
1/3 Package Neuftachel Cream Cheese
1/3 Stick Butter
1/3 of a pound (roughly 1/3 of a package) Confectioner’s sugar
Vanilla and Lemon Zest to taste.
Combine Butter and cream cheese with electric mixer.Add sugar. Beat with mixer on low for 10 mins. Add vanilla, lemon. Slather on cooled-yet-warmish cake.
Yes, I wear a hat like that on the weekends, sometimes,
No, I did not have any Monkey Bread in my house after Brunch,