These were all baked yesterday, and were served nicely on the big Christmas cookie platter. Maybe that was what threw everybody off. The platter usually makes it out of the cabinet only once a year, just for offering cookies to Santa. I saw this morning that nobody had touched any of the coffee cakes. I asked why.
Hubby: “The kids were asking to have some, but I said wait and ask Mom. I thought you were saving them for Christmas or something.”
Me: “Don’t be silly! You don’t wait til Christmas to start enjoying all the Christmas songs and lights, do you?”
Hubby looked at me with that you-know-what-I-mean look. I looked at him with that right-back-at-ya look. We know each other so well, we need only looks to communicate.
He meant well, my hubby. Around this time, there are usually parties to go to, gifts to exchange, Christmas treats to send to the neighbors, etc. So, it was only natural that he assumed the tannenbaum and poinsettia coffee cakes were made for one of those occasions. But my poor kids, denied of their daily bread!
Tannenbaum Coffee Cakes
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
The filling for the Tannenbaum
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tbsp cinnamon
1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and yeast; blend well.
2. In medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup butter until very warm (120 to 130° F).
3. Add warm liquid and eggs to flour mixture. Blend at low-speed, with a hand-held mixer, until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed.
4. By hand, stir in an additional 2 to 2 1/2 cups flour to form a stiff dough.
5. On floured surface, knead in 1 to 1 1/2 cups flour until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Alternately, use a stand mixer to knead the dough, adding 1 cup of flour at a time, until dough cleans sides of bowl.
6. Place dough in greased bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place (80 to 85° F) until light and doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
7. Generously grease 2 15x10x1 inch baking pans. Punch down dough several times to remove all air bubbles. Divide dough into 2 parts.
8. On lightly floured surface, roll one part into a triangle with two 15-inch sides and a 12-inch base. Brush with 1 tbsp of the melted butter. Or make smaller tannenbaums.
9. In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp melted butter, 1 cup sugar, nuts and cinnamon; mix well. Sprinkle 1/2 of filling evenly over dough.
10. To shape tree, starting at top point of dough triangle, fold 15-inch sides to meet in center, pressing all seams to seal. Invert, seam side down onto greased pan. With scissors or sharp knife, make 12 slits about 1 inch apart along each long outside edge of tree, cutting to within 1/2 inch of center of dough. Starting at bottom of tree, twist each strip so cut side is up to show filling. Cover, let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
11. Heat oven to 350° F. Uncover dough. Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden brown, for 15×12 inch cakes. Adjust time accordingly if you make smaller cakes. (15 minutes for these 7×3 cakes).
12. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans. Cool on wire racks. In small bowl, blend powdered sugar and enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over coffee cakes. Garnish with red & green holiday chocolate morsels.
Poinsettia Coffee Cakes
Follow the recipe from the Tannebaum cakes.
Cranberry sauce filling
1 cup fresh cranberries
Zest from 1 tangerine (or orange, about 2 tsp)
Juice from 1 tangerine (or orange, about 1/4 cup)
3 tbsp agave nectar or sugar (This produces a tart sauce. You can add more sugar, if you prefer.)
1. Bring cranberries, tangerine/orange juice, 1 tsp of zest, sugar to a boil, until cranberries start to pop.
2. Smash some of the cranberries with the back of the spoon.
3. Let sauce cool completely before using.
To make the poinsettias
1. Flatten and roll dough into a rectangle, spread filling over it, then roll up dough, Swiss-roll cake fashion.
2. Cut into 10-12 slices. It’s just like making cinnamon rolls. Arrange 5 to 6 slices in a circle. The centers were filled with scraps of dough rolled into small balls.
3. Bake as the Tannenbaums. Once they are cool, decorate with sugar glaze and more tangerine/orange zest.