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This recipe was featured in 2017 Holiday Recipe Contest.
$500 Sweet Winner
Artie Stockton | Pedernales EC
“This coffee cake is a treat for Christmas morning,” Stockton says. “The cake freezes beautifully, so it can be made ahead of time. I have made this coffee cake each Christmas season for the last 20 years. It is still the favorite of my adult children as well as my grandchildren.”
1 package dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, well-beaten
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
3/4 cup cherry preserves
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, well-beaten, for egg wash
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 tablespoon juice from jar of maraschino cherries
Maraschino cherry halves
1. Dough: Dissolve yeast in warm water, 105–115 degrees; set aside. Heat milk in saucepan over low heat. Add sugar, butter and salt, stirring until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Pour milk mixture into mixing bowl and cool to lukewarm.
2. Mix two beaten eggs and dissolved yeast into lukewarm milk mixture. Add flour, a little at a time, beating well until dough resembles a soft sponge. Cover bowl and chill dough in refrigerator overnight.
3. Filling: In a bowl, combine cinnamon, dried cranberries, coconut, cherry preserves and chopped pecans.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface to a rectangular shape, about 1/8 inch thick. Brush dough with 1/4 cup melted butter, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar. Dot the filling on the dough until covered, leaving about an inch on each side free of filling.
5. Roll up dough lengthwise, then transfer to a baking sheet with the seam-side down. Shape like a horseshoe and tuck ends under to seal. Let rise in a warm place about 25–30 minutes.
6. Brush egg wash over top of dough. Bake 20–25 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Icing: In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, half-and-half and cherry juice. Mix well, then drizzle on cake.
8. Decorations: As the icing firms up, decorate with cherry and pecan halves.
Note that since the dough needs to chill overnight, this is a two-day process.