Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"...with candy canes and silver lanes a-glow!"

Oh yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Spoon Drop Inn! This week Mom made a new festive recipe that I absolutely love - candy cane coffee cake. But silly me, I thought that it was a coffee cake with candy canes in it or on it, but it is actually made to look like a candy cane...

Candy Cane Coffee Cakes (from p. 81 of the BCC): One thing that makes this coffee cake unique is that you heat two cups of sour cream and stir it in with the yeast, warm water, butter, sugar, salt, eggs and flour. Chemically, I don't know what that does to change the consistency, but the bread turned out so nice and soft and fluffy! 

Then you add flour until the dough is easy to handle. Knead, cover, and let rise for an hour, then punch it down and divide the dough in three parts. The recipes says it "makes three cakes - one for the brunch table and two for gift giving" - how charming is that?! Oh, that hospitable Betty...

This is where the fun really begins: you roll out each piece into 15"x6" rectangles, and make 2" cuts at 1/2" intervals on the long sides of the rectangles... so it looks like it's tasseled, like your favorite ugly Christmas sweater. 

You make a mixture of chopped maraschino cherries and dried apricots and spread it down the middle of the tasseled dough rectangles. And THEN... you crisscross the tassels over the filling. Stretch the dough out to 22" and carefully curve one end to form it in the shape of a candy cane.

Bake until they are golden brown, and while they are still warm, brush them with butter and drizzle them with a thin icing made with two cups of confectioners' sugar and two tablespoons of milk.

And now you have beautiful, sweet coffee cake to serve for your Christmas brunch - and of course, two more to give to those you love. I enjoyed a piece yesterday with a cup of Twinnings' Christmas tea - perfect for making the season bright!

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