Holiday Coffeecake Wreaths
- 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
- Combine 1/2 cup water, milk, and butter in a saucepan; heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts. Cool to 120° to 130°.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until wreaths sound hollow when tapped. Cool on wire racks.
- Stir together powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons boiling water, and lemon juice; drizzle over wreaths. Decorate with candied cherries and pecan halves.
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