VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar, divided
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Cranberries and red and green candied cherries, halved
- In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a small saucepan, heat sour cream and butter to 110°-115°. Add the sour cream mixture, sugar, salt, eggs and 1-1/2 cups flour to yeast mixture. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in 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, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring cranberries and water to a boil. Cover and boil gently for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Cool. Combine the pecans, softened butter, cinnamon and remaining brown sugar; set aside. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each into a 14-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Brush each with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Spread half of the pecan mixture. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Brush with remaining melted butter.
- To form a tree from each log, cut a 2-in. piece from one end for a tree trunk; set aside. Then cut each log into 15 slices. Cover two baking sheets with foil and grease well. Center one slice near the top of each prepared baking sheet. Arrange slice with sides touching in four more rows, adding one slice for each row, forming a tree. Center the reserved slice lengthwise below the tree for trunk. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- In a saucepan, heat corn syrup over low heat. Transfer foil with trees onto wire racks; brush with corn syrup. Cool for 20 minutes. Combine confectioners' sugar and milk. Fill a small pastry or plastic bag; cut a small hole in corner of bag. Pipe on trees for garlands. Garnish with cranberries and candied cherries. Yield: 2 trees (16 rolls each).
Originally published as Cranberry Cinnamon Christmas Tree Rolls in Best of Country Breads 2000, p81