Fruit 'N' Nut Rings Recipe
Donna Gordon of Vineland, New Jersey based the filling for her yeasty rings on one her grandmother used to make for cookies. "She plumped her raisins in water, but I use orange juice to give them a fruitier flavor," Donna details.
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1-3/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1 cup mashed potatoes (without added milk and butter)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups golden raisins
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 5 teaspoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the potatoes, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in 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 doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the raisins, orange juice and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor or blender; cover and process until coarsely chopped. Pour into a bowl; stir in nuts.
- Line two baking sheets with foil and grease well; set aside. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Roll each portion into a 15-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Spread filling over dough to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal.
- Place each roll seam side down on a prepared baking sheet; pinch ends together to form a ring. With scissors, cut from outside edge to two-thirds of the way toward center of the ring at 1-in. intervals. Separate strips slightly; twist to allow filling to show. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over rings. Yield: 2 coffee cakes.
Originally published as Fruit 'N' Nut Rings in Country Woman November/December 2002, p41
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