I'm Gonna Harden My Heart; Cinnamon Bacon Monkey Bread

Oh my.

So. I was making some "biscuit bites" (Blue/White tailgate prep) with chicken sausages (w/apples & gouda) and bacon. I had pre-cooked the bacon in the oven (at 400F for about 15 minutes) by placing it on a cooling rack placed over a jelly roll pan.

After making a few different items, I had some biscuit dough left over, so, on a whim, I thought, why don't I use the bacon drippings to make something.

Our great and good friend, ILuvPSUtoo (aka @dkdmac) had been going on about bacon shortbread and other such stuff the other day - but I thought, how about our tried and true pull-apart (ie Monkey) bread recipe? I'll just add bacon drippings to the butter, and add crispy bacon to the topping. I did a quick "tester" and decided that the final version needed more bacon drippings (and, incidentally, more brown sugar). So I added more of each... and here's what happened...

I posted the above picture on Twitter, and received a request for a recipe - so here you go!

Cinnamon Bacon Monkey Bread

1 package "Grands" biscuit dough
2-3 strips thick cut bacon (pre-baked; drippings reserved)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (or all brown sugar)*
1 tsp cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1/4 tsp ginger (can also use/add clove, allspice, nutmeg)
3 Tbs bacon drippings
1 Tbs butter (melted)
1 loaf pan (or 3 mini loaf pans, or muffin tin, or bundt pan, etc)**

Pre-heat oven to 350F. 

Melt butter; combine with bacon drippings into small bowl; brush pan liberally with drippings/butter.

Combine sugars and spices into a separate bowl.

Set aside a small amount (3 Tablespoons or so) of sugar mixture; mince/chop bacon into small pieces; combine with reserved sugar; toss until well coated.

Sprinkle sugar-bacon mixture into bottom of (each) pan.

Open canister of biscuits. Cut each separate biscuit into 6 pieces (2x down and 1x across).

Dip (dunk) each piece of biscuit into butter/drippings mixture and then coat with sugar.

Place each coated piece of biscuit into pan, on top of bacon-sugar topping (if using more than one pan - such as muffin tin or mini-loafs, divide the biscuit pieces evenly). These are going to rise significantly, so you want to fill the pan(s) about 1/2 full.

Bake bread(s) for 10-15 minutes, or until the top pieces are browned.***

Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 5 minutes (or until pan is cool enough to handle); run a sharp knife around the edges and then, carefully, invert on to plate; if any topping sticks to pan, scrape out and add to top of bread(s).

Let cool for as long as you can, and then tear into it! Or, cool completely and wrap in aluminum foil and freeze until your next trip to the parking lots!

*I had granulated sugar out for another recipe; usually use all brown sugar
**I used 3 mini loaf pans
***We typically slightly under-cook our breads because we (freeze and then) reheat them at our tailgate