A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 15, 2007
Gorilla Bread

Gorilla bread is a new recipe that’s been cited on the internet from only 2000. Paula Deen served gorilla bread to Jimmy Carter on her Food Network show in 2005, and this helped popularize the bread. Citations for “gorilla bread” appear from Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, indicating that it’s possibly a Southern recipe.

“Monkey bread” is similar to “gorilla bread”—and some insist they’re the same thing. Monkey bread can be pulled apart, and contains cinnamon and sugar. It’s said (below) that, by adding cream cheese and chopped walnuts, a cook can change the “monkey” into a “gorilla.”


Wikipedia: Monkey Bread
Monkey Bread, also called “Affenbrot” (German, literally meaning “ape bread"), is a sticky, gooey pastry served as a breakfast treat. It is made with slices of bread dough which are baked in a cake pan at high heat after first being individually covered in cinnamon, sugar and melted butter. It is traditionally served hot so that the baked segments can be easily torn away with the fingers and eaten by hand. 

Food Network
Gorilla Bread Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Show:  Paula’s Home Cooking
Episode:  Bed and Breakfast with Jimmy Carter

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert. 

Real Cajun Recipes
Gorilla Bread
Submitted by Alberta (Bert) LeBlanc
on Friday, May 28, 2004

Makes: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 50 minutes
This is a relatively new popular Cajun dish. It closely relates to Monkey Bread (recipe on site), a long time popular bread. See photo of dish in Recipe Photo Album. 

Ingredients
1/2 cup granulated sugar 3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) 1 cup packed brown sugar
1 package 8 oz cream cheese 2 cans 12 oz 10 count refrigerated biscuit
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside.

Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts.

Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.

Place a plate on top and invert. Make a pot of drip some coffee and share. 

Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking
From: (Finocchio568)
Date: 26 Dec 2000 15:26:13 GMT
Local: Tues, Dec 26 2000 10:26 am
Subject: Re: Apple scone cake thing from looooooooooong ago?

What you’re describing is definitely called the “Monkey Bread”.  My aunt makes something like that but calls it “Gorilla Bread” - which is much richer. Here’s her recipe.

GORILLA BREAD
Turn the oven on to 350 degrees.  Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 3 teaspoons cinnamon.  In a saucepan, melt 1 stick butter and 1 cup packed brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside.  Cut one 8-ounce package cream cheese into 20 equal cubes.  Get two 12-ounce cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count each).  Press the biscuits out
with your fingers and sprinkle each about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts into the bottom of the bundt pan.  Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter
mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of walnuts.  Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of walnuts.  You will need 1.1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts for this recipe. Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.  Place a plate on top and invert. 

Food History
Gorilla/Monkey
topic posted Sat, March 12, 2005 - 7:00 PM by Melodious
Does anyone know the origin of the term “gorilla bread” or “monkey bread”? Is it a Southern thing?

“Gorilla bread” was recently featured on an episode of “Paula Deen’s Cooking” on the Food Network. Paula visited Jimmy Carter in his hometown of Plains, Georgia and prepared this breakfast pastry for him. It looks REALLY good, but they never explained the origin of the term.

Anniston (AL) Star
Monkey Bread is only a cheese-and-nuts bite away from Gorilla Bread
Author:  Sue Vondracek
Publish Date: May 18, 2005

QUESTION: Can you tell me the difference in Gorilla Bread and Monkey Bread or are they the same thing? I have a recipe for Monkey Bread, but have never heard of Gorilla Bread until some people on television were talking about it and didn’t provide a recipe. P.S., Jacksonville
ANSWER: The recipes are not the same, but if you have a recipe for Monkey Bread you almost have the recipe for Gorilla Bread. The only other ingredients you need are creamed cheese and 1/2 cup of chopped nuts. 

5 April 2006, Tulsa (OK) World, “Just Monkeying Around: Monkey Bread” by Natalie Mikles:
Those who have tasted it instantly recognize the name. But ask someone who has never heard of it, and you could get a strange look. It’s monkey bread, sometimes called bubble bread and occasionally known as gorilla bread. It has little to do with monkeys, though most believe its name derives from the fruit, called monkey bread, produced by the African boabab tree. It seems that last month, when a reader named Chris asked for a recipe for monkey bread, a lot of you were paying attention. Readers sent every type of monkey bread recipe imaginable—some using homemade bread dough, others with frozen rolls and most using refrigerated biscuit dough. Variations included chopped nuts, cream, raisins, butterscotch pudding, brown sugar, white sugar and cream cheese. But the general idea of monkey bread was captured by all—small pieces of sweet dough piled on top of each other and then baked. When inverted, it makes a sugary and sticky tower perfect for pulling and picking at piece by piece. 

Life Of An Incredible Mama Of Five
Gorilla Bread
Nov 24, 2006 at 9:38 PM
What’s the difference between monkey bread and gorilla bread?  Well, gorilla bread kicks monkey bread’s ass.  That’s what.

I made this for both my families for Thanksgiving.  It was a hit! 

Google Groups: Just Breakfast and Brunch Recipes
From: Jamie R
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 21:59:58 -0700
Local: Sat, Mar 24 2007 11:59 pm
Subject: Monkey and Gorilla Bread

Monkey and Gorilla Bread
Recipe courtesy Vita Shanley, 2005
Show:  Sugar Rush
Episode:  Takes the Cake

Make each of these breads in separate bundt pans. For serving, layer the 2 cakes, with the Monkey Bread as the top tier and the Gorilla Bread as the bottom tier.

Monkey Bread (recipe may be doubled depending on the bundt pan):
Flour, for pan
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
30 buttermilk canned refrigerator biscuits
1 stick butter, plus more for pan
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup walnuts

Butter and flour a bundt pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine sugar and cinnamon. Cut refrigerator biscuits in half and toss in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Melt the 1 stick of butter in a saucepan and add brown sugar and bring to a boil; then add nuts. Line the bundt pan with biscuits and pour butter mixture over them.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from the pan when it’s still hot to avoid

Gorilla Bread (recipe may be doubled depending on the bundt pan):
Flour, for pan
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
20 buttermilk canned refrigerator biscuits
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 20 cubes
1 stick butter, melted, plus more for pan
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups walnuts

Butter and flour a bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine sugar and cinnamon. Separate biscuits and flatten each slightly with your hand. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon and sugar mixture onto each biscuit. Place one cube of cream cheese in center of biscuit and fold in half to resemble a half moon. Melt the 1 stick of butter in a saucepan and add brown sugar and bring to a boil; remove from the heat. Place 1/2 cup nuts on the bottom of the bundt pan and then line the pan with a row of cream cheese filled biscuits. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Drizzle half of the butter mixture on top and then repeat steps, beginning with nuts.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from the pan when it’s still hot to avoid sticking.

4 April 2007, American Press (Lake Charles, LA), pg. D3, col. 2:
Gorilla Bread
2 tubes of regular-size buttermilk biscuits
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 20 cubes

Directions: Combine sugar and cinnamon. Separate biscuits and flatten each slightly with your hand. Put 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture onto each biscuit. Place one cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit. Fold in half to resemble a half-moon, pinching the edges together. Dip each half-moon into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place into a well-buttered Bundt pan.

Put 1/2 cup of the remaining cinnamon-sugar mix, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1 cup of butter into a small saucepan. Bring this mixture just to a boil. Remove from heat immediately. Carefully drizzle over the pieces in the Bundt pan.

Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Invert onto a cake plate while it’s still hot to avoid sticking.

Now for the diet tip: If you put 1 cup of salt into your sugar canister and then use that mix for the 1 cup of sugar this recipe calls for, I guarantee you won’t want more than one bite. My family and I have personally tested this tip, and it works like a charm!—Fay, Lake Jackson, Texas.

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Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, November 15, 2007 • Permalink