Okay, admittedly the name of this dessert requires some explanation to those that don’t know me from my childhood days in Montreal. When we were kids, my brother and I fell in love with a type of cinnamon bun that our friend’s mom used to placate us with. They were small, bite-sized cinnamon buns which she affectionately called Monkey Farts. My brother and I had coincidentally also coined this same term to the very hilarious sound that one makes when doing the one-armed chicken dance with one hand cupped under the arm pit of the flapping arm. What can I say, it was the 80’s and we were easily entertained. Needless to say, this food and its juvenile moniker were very appealing. Years passed and monkey farts, like other childhood memories, passed from my ageing consciousness…until when recently at a bake sale at work I tasted something nearly identical to my childhood treat. Heads turned when I yelled out “Monkey Farts” in a room full of suits.
This is probably one of the easiest and quickest cinnamon bun recipes you’ll try – you don’t need yeast and you don’t need to let the dough rise. Enjoy the recipe….and for good measure try doing the one-handed chicken dance around your kitchen with a mouthful of cinnamon bun.
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
1/3 cup soft butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325. Prepare well-greased muffin pans (makes about 12 per recipe) – I spray with Pam.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in first 1/4 cup of butter with a knife until butter is pea-shaped in size. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
3. Pour milk into well. Stir to form soft dough adding a bit more milk if needed. Turn out on lightly-floured surface. Knead 8 – 10 times.
4. Roll dough into a rectangular shape about 1/2 to 1 cm thick and 30 cm long. Using a butter knife, spread the 1/3 cup butter on the dough. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and stir. Spread on top of butter, though save about 1/4 cup for sprinkling afterwards. Sprinkle raisins on top if desired.
5. Using both hands, gently begin rolling up the dough. Pinch together the seam that runs lengthwise. Mark into even segments then cut. Place in well-greased muffin pans. Add a light sprinkle of cinnamon to the rolls if desired.
6. Bake in 325 degree F oven for approximately 25 minutes.
7. Brush with icing sugar glaze if you wish (icing sugar mixed with a little warm water) – I skip this part, as I didn’t eat it this way as a child.