Thursday, February 4, 2016

Cheery Cherry Coffee Ring!

Happy February everyone! Hard to believe we'll be celebrating Valentine's Day next week! In light of that occasion, this week's recipe and next week's recipe will be in keeping with the holiday.....just in case you want to bake something special for someone special! 

Baking a "something special" was always my go-to for celebrating this holiday. There were so many people in my life that I wanted to honor and bless......and thank......for being so important to me. Our finances didn't always allow me to buy gifts for everyone, so baking it was! Plus, it allowed the kids to help! It was fun and challenging to find recipes to suit the occasion. These days, with Pinterest and similar sites, it's not quite as difficult to locate cute or unusual ideas, but a while back, creativity meant time at the library or raking through cookbooks to find the perfect idea! Along with a heart-felt note, these home-baked valentines made ideal gifts! 

Maybe you have someone special in mind that you'd like to bake for. This cherry ring is absolutely scrumptious and sure to be enjoyed! Perhaps you could divide the recipe in half or thirds and make smaller versions to be shared with more folks.....Perhaps you could shape the ring into a heart.....perhaps you could tint the glaze a pale pink.....Hmmmm.....lots of valentine ideas still stirring! Let me know what YOUR ideas are! 

Cheery Cherry Coffee Ring

¾ Cup milk, warmed
¼ Cup warm water
1 pkg. Red Star Platinum yeast
¼ Cup butter, softened
¼ Cup sugar, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
3 ½ -3 ¾ Cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Cherry Filling:
1 Cup water
1 Cup dried tart cherries, snipped into smaller pieces

Cinnamon Filling:
1/3 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup brown sugar, packed
3 Tbsp. flour
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ Cup butter

Almond Glaze:
1 ¼ Cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. corn syrup
¼ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. almond extract
1 ½-2 Tbsp. evaporated milk/half-n-half/light cream /milk (your choice)

Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.

While dough is rising, prepare fillings:
Cherry: Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add dried cherries. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain water (If you do this step first, you can use the drained water as the water in the dough for some added cherry goodness J ) . Squeeze the cherries to remove excess water. Drain on a paper towel.
Cinnamon: Mix dry ingredients together, then cut in butter until crumbly

Roll dough into a 15x9” rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon filling. Then sprinkle with drained cherries. Roll up jelly-roll style from the long edge. Seal the seam. Grease a large baking sheet and place the dough on the sheet. Join the ends of the dough to form a circle and pinch ends to seal the circle. With a sharp knife, cut slits at 1” intervals around the ring, leaving about 1 inch attached at the center. Gently take each slice and turn it to one side so that one of the cut sides is down. Continue around the circle, layering the slices atop one another. Cover and let rise until almost double. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cooled coffee cake.  


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