Thursday, February 11, 2016

Heart-shaped Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake!

It's strange to think of posting yummy and decadent things, seeing that the Lenten season of self-denial and self-examination has just begun! We spent this past Wednesday evening at a community Ash Wednesday service. The service was a little more formal than we were used to, but it was nonetheless beautiful and thought-provoking. Quite a few members of our little church attended, including five-year-old Gwen, who came with her grandma. Though the service was lengthy, Gwen sat patiently, taking everything in. That evening, Gwen learned of many different types of love: the love of her grandma, the love of the church, the love of God and the love of friends. In thinking about it now, I guess it's appropriate that we're celebrating Valentine's Day (love!) in the midst of Lent! As we take time to examine ourselves, it's a great time to reach out and express our love for someone around us! 

This delicious recipe makes two coffee cakes, allowing you to "share the love" x 2 ! I hope you'll enjoy it as you celebrate the ones you love! 

Heart-Shaped Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake! (Makes 2)

1 pkg./Tbsp. Red Star Platinum instant yeast
¼ Cup warm water
1 Cup warm milk
½ Cup butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
¼ Cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 ½- 4 ½ Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

¼ Cup butter, softened
½ Cup sugar
½ Walnuts, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 Tbsp softened butter
1 Cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbsp. milk

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, combine the dry filling ingredients, then stir in softened butter. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Punch dough down and divide into two equal portions. On a floured countertop, roll each portion into a 15x10” rectangle. Spread half of the filling over each rectangle. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with the long sides, pinching the seams to seal. Fold each roll in half (should look like a “U”). Using kitchen shears, cut each “leg” of the “U” down the middle carefully to within 2 inches of the base. Working quickly, lay/twist the cut-open pieces on each side over one another. Bend the top of the finished “twist” on each side down to the bottom of the “U” and tuck it under/in the base, forming a heart-shape. Cover lightly and let rise until doubled. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Cool on a wire rack. Drizzle with prepared confectioner’s icing. 


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