My mother gave me this recipe when I was a teenager - it's something I treasure as a childhood memory. She made this tender, flaky pastry as part of a special breakfast on Sundays or holidays. I often bring these easy-to-fix pastries to ladies' meetings. They can't believe how good they taste with relatively few ingredients. -Lee Deneau, Lansing, Michigan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup cold butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup water, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Place 1 cup flour in a large bowl, cut 1/2 cup butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons water; toss with a fork until mixture forms a ball. Divide into thirds. On a floured surface, roll each portion into a 9-in. x 6-in. rectangle. Place on greased baking sheets; set aside.
- In a saucepan, bring salt and remaining butter and water to a boil. Add remaining flour all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
- Spread over the dough. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
- For icing, combine the butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough water to achieve desired consistency. Spread over warm coffee cakes. Sprinkle with walnuts. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 3 coffee cakes (6 servings each).
Originally published as Danish Coffee Cake in Reminisce January/February 2001, p49
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