Wednesday, I posted the directions for my mom's multi-purpose everlasting dough which can be used for rolls, coffee cakaes, even sweet white bread. Tonight I'm adding the directions for Christmas coffee cakes. This really calls for a picture, but I haven't had time to make them this year--and never took pictures before, apparently. At least not that I can find.
To shape Christmas tree coffee cakes
Roll handful of dough into a log about 4-5 inches long and the size of your thumb (maybe a little bigger). Make the next roll a little shorter, and the next, and so on, until you end with a round-shaped piece of dough for the top of the tree. Add a round base for the trunk. Let rise until almost doubled in size.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Check to be sure center is cooked through. Cool thoroughly before decorating.
Mom was quite strict about the decorating: she beat up basic icing to just the right consistency—a little runny, but not too much so—and then dribbled it across the cakes, so it looked like a sprinkling of snow, with strict instructions to us on the order in which decorations had to go on.
Make a basic powdered sugar icing (see recipe above). Flavor as you like; I use vanilla and almond flavoring, but rum might also be good. Make the icing fairly runny—you want it to drip off the spoon but not roll off the cake (tricky business, that!).
Line up all decorations before you begin. Put lighter decorations on first—silver shot, etc.—as they are more like to roll off. You can always press quartered gumdrops or halved maraschino cherries into the icing.
I suggest any or all of the following:Green or red sugar (I like green better—it looks like a tree)
Nonpareils (those little colored things—sort of multicolored shot)
Silver or gold shot, if you can find it (tiny silver balls, not much good to eat but they look pretty)
Red or cinnamon hots (these are particularly bad about rolling off)
Halved red and green maraschino cherries
Anything else that strikes your fancy
Drizzle icing from a spoon over the cake in a back-and-forth motion, but don’t try to cover the entire cake—you want it to look sort of like snow has blown onto the tree. Then, quickly, apply decorations.
You can only make Christmas coffee cakes if you intend to share them with friends! This recipe makes four large coffee cakes, but you can vary the size by the number and size of “logs” you put into the tree. Be sure to tell people not to put in the oven to warm but to heat from the bottom so the icing doesn't melt and the decorations roll off.