Your loved ones will enjoy this heart-shaped coffee cake from Summerhill, Pennsylvania editor Dolores Skrout.
- 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Heat milk, water and 4 tablespoons butter to 120°-130°. Gradually add to dry ingredients; beat on medium for 2 minutes. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat on high for 2 minutes. By hand, add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a 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 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Divide in half. Roll each half into a 26-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Combine filling ingredients; sprinkle over butter. Roll up jelly-roll style form long end; pinch to seal. Place seam side down on greased nonstick baking sheets or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Shape each roll into heart; seal ends. Cut from outer edge two-thirds through cake every 1 in. and turn each section out. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Remove immediately from baking sheets to wire racks. Cool completely; remove parchment paper if used. For glaze, cream sugar and butter. Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over hearts. Yield: 2 coffee cakes.
Originally published as Valentine Coffee Cake in Taste of Home February/March 1995, p12
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