February 14, 2010

Gorilla Bread, Where It All Began

There was once a time when Hamburger Helper was my 'homemade meal'. I really can't remember cooking very much...ok at all, until hubby and I moved out of our "bachelor pad" and got pregnant. I think one day it just clicked that real people cook real food all the time. I remember the very first time I watched The Food Network. The first show I watched was Paula's Home Cooking and it was love at first sight. Usually hubby rules the remote, but whenever I got a chance I had The Food Network on. This was my awakening, my kitchen calling, and I was hooked.

One of the very first Paula episodes I watched was the one where she made her Gorilla Bread. At first I thought, heart-a-ttack, but when hubby suggested we give it a go I wasn't protesting! The recipe wasn't daunting at all, with ingredients like canned biscuits and cream cheese, easy peasy. I gathered what I needed, which conveniently enough is usually stuff that I have on hand, and set to it. This is an ideal beginner's recipe for a home baked dish. It comes together in a snap, doesn't require any exotic ingredients and is large enough for a hungry family. The recipe is super versatile too, if you don't have light brown sugar use dark, substitute butter biscuits for the regular if that's all you have (and don't realize it until after you come home from the store with everything BUT the buttermilk biscuits!).

So if this whole baking thing is new to you then give this Gorilla Bread a whirl, you'll be glad you did...until you eat half of it in one sitting...what, just me?!

Gorilla Bread (adapted from Food Network)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (I used Neufchatel)
2 (12 oz/10 ct) cans refrigerated biscuits (I used half buttermilk, half butter flavored, but feel free to substitute here)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes.

Flatten each biscuit out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar mixture. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit and wrap the dough around the cream cheese, sealing all edges.

Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with several tablespoons of cinnamon sugar. Pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar and pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.

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