So my Aunts grand babies are coming into town to stay with my parents. Gerri (my Aunt) passed away this year of pancreatic cancer. She was a strong woman full of life. She exuded this radiant energy that I longed to imitate. She was the life of the party and a dear friend, only did I realize how big her circle of friends were until her last few weeks of life. A selfless woman she was, always putting her loved ones first, especially her family. She absolutely loved her grand babies and as her days grew nearer she was worried how they would carry on without her. My mom made a promise to her to look after them as best as she could living in a different state and to make sure that their ties were always connected. Conner and Emma are coming up for their first visit since their grandma has past away. Its a special visit for many reasons. I’m looking forward to spending some time with them, see how they are getting along and only if I sense they are comfortable or if they mention Gerri will we reminisce about that golden beaut. These kids have SO.MANY.ALLERGIES!!!! Omg its terrifying. I am not sure the degree of intensity their reactions and I am not so eager to find out. So I wanted to welcome the two kiddos with some sweet treats I made them with some simple ingredients and vegan/paleo friendly. NO NUTS. NO DAIRY. NO EGGS.
I used a recipe from Martha Stewart :). For the chocolate I used the vegan brand: Enjoy Life. So using a makeshift double boiler I melted the chocolate chips, coconut oil and water, stirring constantly until everything was a shinny smooth ganache. Then I added the pinch of salt and vanilla, stirred a few more rounds and placed her in the fridge to harden. One hour later I used a tablespoon to scoop out the chocolate and formed the balls between my hands to make a perfect circle. Once formed I rolled them in my desired toppings. I actually didn’t try the end result because I had so much of it while I was tossing it together. They look beautiful I will have to ask the kids when they get here.
I grew up on a great avenue. It was a dead end street and there were about 10 of us kids all around the same age in the neighborhood. At night we would catch lighting bugs and play cops and robbers and during the day depending on the weather we would be playing out in the sprinkler or inside watching a film we rented at blockbuster. Those certainly were the days. Getting in my parents car heading to rent a few movies for the night was a highlight for the weekend.
I have many memories of that neighborhood, one of our neighbors had a beautiful garden in which stalks of rhubarb grew and every year our family would get some of their stalks or receive a dessert made with this tart plant. I wanted to bring a little nostalgia back for myself and my family. I brought back from the farmers market a bundle of stock and a few pints of organic strawberries.
I got the recipe from Ina garten I was both pleased and worried to be working with cornstarch. I wasn’t quite sure how it would thicken the mixture but it certainly did a fabulous job the recipe was delectable.
“The term monkey bread, initially referring to a loaf formed from pieces of yeast dough dipped into butter, seems to have emerged or was at least popularized in southern California in the 1940s. It was a rich savory bread, sometimes accompanied with jam or preserves, requiring no knives to serve. The dough pieces were definitely not rolled in any sugary substance. Then by the early 1970s, loaves of dough pieces enveloped in either cinnamon-sugar or brown sugar — previously called Hungarian coffee cake and golden dumpling coffee cake — also became known as monkey bread, transforming the term into a beloved dessert and breakfast treat.” (Tori Avey)
There is nothing better in the morning than being served warm sweet bread with coffee. The whole process is a delightful experience. Getting your hands dirty preparing the dough, the pleasing aromas and lastly finally getting to sink your teeth into that sweet soft dough. I didn’t really want to make cinnamon rolls or caramel rolls, I was feeling a bit more adventurous. I decided that I would make Monkey bread! I got my recipe from sallysbakingaddiction.com. I followed her recipe to the T with the exception of the frosting. My first attempt at the frosting left me with an opaque watery glaze and I wanted more of a frosting instead of a glaze. So I added more powder sugar and milk until I found the perfect consistency. The next time I make this I will prepare the dough the night before so I can bake it right away in the morning for my guests/family.