A Howling Brunch | Twinspirational -->

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Howling Brunch

We met our PARTY SOULMATE last month! Our new friend, Meng, loves to host parties just as much as the twins do! This week we wanted to share her lovely brunch with you. Meng hosted a delicious bottomless brunch and introduced many of us to the party game Werewolf. Brunch in New York is no ORDINARY meal. It is an occasion to feast on yummy breakfast foods in the afternoon, sip on delicious cocktails and catch up with close friends. Sometimes brunch at home can be even more fun than your typical experience at a restaurant. 
Meng invited a group of 20 guests to her scrumptious brunch. For large parties, we recommend making scrambled eggs in several large batches. This works well too if your guests arrive at different times. We also suggest adding muffins or banana/pumpkin bread to your menu since these baked treats can be prepared in advance. Archana served as guest bartender and mixed passion fruit bellinis and bloody marys for guests. Remember to add a fruit garnish to each cocktail!
Everything was delicious but our favorite item on the menu was definitely the monkey bread. Each bite was moist with just the right amount of sweetness. Lucky for us, Meng shared her recipe!
After brunch, we played Werewolf for the first time. This is a game about "accusations, lying, bluffing, second-guessing, assassination, and mob hysteria.” It works really well for a large group. The moderator divides players into two secret teams: werewolves and villagers. The werewolves must kill all of the villagers before being discovered while the villagers must identify the werewolves and vote to lynch them. The first time you play this game it can get confusing but once you get the hang of the game - it is incredibly FUN. We can't wait to play it again. 
One other thing we loved at Meng's apartment is her FABULOUS designer shoe clock- isn't it amazingly TWINSPIRATIONAL? 

"I'm not afraid of werewolves or vampires or haunted hotels, I'm afraid of what real human beings to do other real human beings"––Walter Jon Williams.

Monkey Bread
Mels Kitchen Cafe
Yield: Serves 6-8
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons melted
  • 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Brown Sugar Coating
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  1. Butter a Bundt pan with the 2 tablespoons softened butter
  2. Use a pastry brush or a paper towel or anything that will really help get inside all of those nooks and crannies
  3. In a large measuring cup, mix together the milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast
  4. Mix the flour and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook
  5. Turn the machine to low and slowly add the milk mixture
  6. After the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes
  7. If you think the dough is too wet (i.e. having a hard time forming a cohesive mass), add 2 tablespoons flour at a time and mix until the dough comes together (it should still be on the sticky side, just not overly wet)
  8. Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray
  9. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat lightly with the cooking spray
  10. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, 1-2 hours (alternately, you can preheat the oven to 200 degrees, turning it off once it reaches 200 degrees and place the covered bowl in the oven to speed up the rising time)
  11. For the sugar coating, while the dough is rising, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place the melted butter in a second bowl or shallow pie plate
  12. To form the bread, gently remove the dough from the bowl and press it into a rough 8-inch square
  13. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 64 pieces
  14. Roll each dough piece into a ball (it doesn't have to be perfect, just get it into a rough ball-shape)
  15. Working one at a time, dip the balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl or pie plate
  16. Roll the dipped dough ball in the brown sugar mixture, then layer the balls in the Bundt pan, staggering the seams where the dough balls meet as you build layers
  17. Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and let the monkey bread rise until puffy and they have risen 1-2 inches from the top of the pan, 1-2 hours (again, you can use the warm oven approach to speed this up)
  18. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (remove the pan from the oven if you placed it there to rise)
  19. Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes
  20. Cool the monkey bread in the pan for 5 minutes (any longer and the bread will be too sticky and hard to remove!), then turn out on a platter or large plate and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes
  21. For the glaze, while the bread cools, whisk the confectioners' sugar and milk together in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Using a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the warm monkey bread, letting it run over the top and sides of the bread
  22. Serve warm

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