As warm and welcoming as a Christmas wreath, this cheery cherry coffee ring is delicious and drizzled with a pretty pink glaze. My family insists I make it for the yuletide season.
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 12 maraschino cherries, chopped and patted dry
- 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 10 squares)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 6 to 8 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the egg, sugar, shortening, salt and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in cherries and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubles, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; roll into an 18-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Combine the filling ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over dough. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side down on a greased baking sheet; pinch ends together to form a ring. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Bake at 375° for 23-28 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. For glaze, combine the sugar, extract and enough juice to achieve drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled bread. Yield: 1 loaf.
Originally published as Cherry Coffee Ring in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2004, p20
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