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Holiday Coffeecake Wreaths

Yield 2 (8-inch) wreaths
Cool the wreaths, wrap tightly in foil, and place in plastic bags to store in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes rapid-rise yeast
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup red candied cherries
  • 1/4 cup green candied cherries
  • 12 pecan halves

How to Make It

  1. Combine 1/2 cup water, milk, and butter in a saucepan; heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts. Cool to 120° to 130°.

  2. Combine 3 1/2 cups flour and next 5 ingredients in a bowl. Gradually add milk mixture to flour mixture, beating at high speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add 1 egg, and beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Gradually stir in enough of remaining flour to make a soft dough.

  3. Turn dough onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

  4. Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 4 or 5 times. Divide dough in half. Divide each half into thirds. Roll 3 portions into 20-inch-long ropes, and place them side by side on a greased baking sheet; braid ropes, and shape into a ring. Pinch ends together to seal. Repeat procedure with remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes. Lightly beat remaining egg, and brush over braids.

  5. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until wreaths sound hollow when tapped. Cool on wire racks.

  6. Stir together powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons boiling water, and lemon juice; drizzle over wreaths. Decorate with candied cherries and pecan halves.