Today is Epiphany (January 6), which is the start of the Carnival season that lasts between today and Mardi Gras. It is customary on this day to have a Kings Cake filled with cinnamon and sugar. Now this is not a traditional Kings Cake recipe – instead this is a Midwestern Monkey Bread recipe. But, this is what I make and serve at my house on this day and is what we consider to be our Kings Cake. We only have it once a year and today is always the day.
Another interesting custom that takes place on this day comes from the Irish and is the celebration of Little Christmas or “Women’s Christmas.” As I understand it the women of Ireland, after all the work they do through the Christmas season, celebrate by spending today resting or by gathering with other women to shop, eat and take in the pub during the evening. They also receive gifts from their children on this day. And – the best part – the men take over all household duties as this is considered to be a holy day of obligation of men for women. If you were not aware of this – perhaps you should add this holiday to your calendar too and celebrate it right along with our Irish sisters! We celebrate it at my house and have for a few years now! Good thing is that the men in this house love Kings Cake – Monkey Bread, and that is all that is needed to convince them to wholeheartedly enjoy their day of obligation! (wink). Should you need proof to convince any guys – here you go – Little Christmas Wikipedia.
Now back to the recipe! By the way – I have tried many monkey bread recipes and this is THE ONE we keep in the recipe box.
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
4 tubes country style biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup salted sweet cream butter
2/3 cup vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1/3 c sugar and 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon in bowl. Separate biscuits and cut in quarters. Dredge the biscuit pieces in the sugar and cinnamon mixture and then place in bundt pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Combine butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla ice cream along with any remaining sugar cinnamon mixture in microwave save bowl. Heat on high until butter and ice cream are melted, about 2-3 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals. Pour over biscuits. Bake 30 minutes until lightly browned on top. Let cool slightly, about 3-5 minutes before inverting onto serving platter.
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