To be honest, this recipe is a basic deviation from monkey bread but my kids think Monkey Balls are hilarious and so the name stuck. No doubt you can imagine the jokes that go with it, particularly from the 8 year old boyo.
The balls are based on a brioche recipe, so if you already have a favourite you use to make brioche then that will work just fine as will most yeast-based sweetbreads.
350g flour (plain or bakers flour)
250g butter (softened)
80ml warm milk
1 teaspoon (or one sachet) dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
Making the Dough:
Put the warm milk in a bowl and add the yeast. Mix gently.
Take 100gms of the butter and add it to the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together, then mix them into the yeasty milk.
Combine the wet and dry mixtures and knead for 5 minutes. A mixer, thermomix or hand mixer with dough hooks is really helpful at this stage as the dough is very moist and sticky.
Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 1.5 hours.
After that time knead for a further five minutes (longer if kneading by hand), cover again and leave to rise until it has doubled in size, around 30 minutes.
Baking the Balls:
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius.
In a bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon. I use loads of both, you can use whatever suits your palate.
Take a golf ball sized amount of dough and roll into a ball, then roll the ball in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Place in a slice tray or other short sided baking tray.
Repeat until the dough is all gone, placing the balls next to each other so they are touching.
Once you've completed this, take any leftover sugar/cinnamon mix and sprinkle evenly over the top of the tray of balls.
Place the remaining 150gms butter in a microwave safe dish and nuke until melted. Pour the melted butter over the top of the balls.
Bake for 20 mins and then gobble them up while they are still warm.
So yummy. Great for a decadent brunch or afternoon tea option, plus kids like talking about their balls.