This rich sweet bread laced with dark chocolate came about as a bit of an experiment. Leading up to Easter 2021, I started researching breads baked by various cultures around the world. Many Eastern European countries have some version of an enriched bread baked to celebrate Christian or Jewish holidays. Paska, Bapka, Kulich, Challah -- some had fruit, others were spiced and they all varied slightly in shape and design.
This was a request from my son for those "monkey balls" I usually make around Thanksgiving.... Hah! How could I refuse that? Monkey bread is a sweet soft pastry that's made by baking pieces of dough that have been dipped in butter and rolled in spices. This version includes pumpkin and is perfect for an autumn weekend. It's best served warm, drizzled with maple glaze. Gather the gang around while the turkey is cooking and pull yourself a monkey ball... I mean delicious morsel of pumpkin-spice gooeyness.
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Jean E. Pendziwol
I live on the north shore of Lake Superior where I write books for kids and adults. I express love and care through food and have a particular fascination with bread! Join me as I explore the cultural significance of bread around the world and experiment with recipes for everything from quick breads to flatbreads, soudoughs and brioche. It promises to be a delicious journey!