For many years I made these moist, jolly loaves as Christmas gifts for the elderly in our church or to share at holiday open houses. The hazelnut filling is a wonderful surprise. This is the kind of old-fashioned bread my mother baked when I was a girl. Now our daughter also makes them.
- 1 package (1/4 ounces) active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 7 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons warm milk
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water and milk. Add eggs, sugar, butter, salt and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a grease bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
- For filling, combine nuts, brown sugar, raisins and cinnamon; set aside. Punch dough down and divide into fourths. Roll one portion into a 12-in. x 7-in. rectangle. Brush with some butter; sprinkle with 2/3 cup filling. Roll up, jelly roll-style, staring with a long side; pinch to seal. Place on a greased baking sheet; shape top to form a cane. Repeat with remaining dough, filling and butter. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 35 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
- Combine the first five glaze ingredients; drizzle stripes over loaves. Sprinkle with nuts. Yield: 4 loaves.
Originally published as Candy Cane Coffee Cakes in Taste of Home December/January 1999, p39
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