Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Musical Visit and a Recipe for Christmas Morning

Some dear friends stopped by.

They came bearing gifts of flowers and cookies and sweetly scented candles.

They filled our home with laughter and music as they chatted and rehearsed.

The piano and harmonies were heavenly.

My neighbors were treated to the sounds of their caroling.  What a blessing for my neighborhood!

And they came back to sing on our porch, too!

more singing inside to warm up...
Thank you to our visiting carolers, Sam, Kelly, Katie, Minna and Sarah. Come back every year to bring Christmas cheer for singing loudly for all to hear!

I have no pictures of this recipe, so I decided to include it here. We always made this coffee cake for Christmas morning. I mixed up the dough and asked some of my children to put the cake together as it is a messy and fun job. Now my grown children have been asking for the recipe, so I thought I'd share it with everyone. It can be made ahead and frozen or made just a few days ahead and wrapped up.

On December 23 make the overnight dough:
1 package or 1 Tablespoon yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water (not too warm -- as they used to say "blood warm" or the same temperature as your wrist.  Sprinkle a few drops on your wrist and if it feels neither hot nor cold, it is just right)
Let the yeast mixture stand for about 10 minutes. This brings the yeast to life and gives it a chance to get going before you add the other ingredients.

Add by mixing with electric mixer:
7 Tablespoons lard (I use either coconut oil or Crisco or a combination of both)
7 Tablespoons sugar
3 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon salt

Beat in 4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour.  Beat for 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down. The dough will be sticky.
Grease a big bowl and put the dough in there, turning it in the bowl so that all sides of the dough are coated. This keeps the dough from drying out.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap. I usually stretch a rubber band around the bowl edge to keep the plastic wrap tight.  Refrigerate over night.

In the morning, take the dough out and put it on the counter for about an hour.
Heat the oven to 350
Melt margarine or butter (for no-milk recipe, I use coconut oil and non dairy margarine) You'll need about a half cup.
Mix 1/2 cup of sugar and 3 Tablespoons cinnamon.

Grease a tube pan.. You can also divide the dough and bake it in two cake pans. If so, grease these. Take out a plate big enough for serving the finished cake and set aside

Dust your work surface with flour and empty the dough onto it. Flatten out the bubbles and roll it into a log. With a knife, cut chunks about 1/12 inches. Dip each in melted margarine and then roll in the cinnamon sugar and place in the baking pan. Fill the bottom of the pan and then make another layer.
 If you need more melted margarine or sugar/ cinnamon, pause and fix this.
When all the dough has been cut into pieces and thus coated, cover the pan and let the coffee cake rise for about 40 minutes. It should be nearly double in bulk.
Bake for about an hour, watching (particularly if you use butter) that it doesn't burn.  When the coffee cake looks done-brown and high and handsome test with a knife to make sure the inner chunks are baked. It's important to bake it long enough so that the dough is done and the sugar coating caramelizes.

Take the baked coffee cake from the oven and set it on a wire rack. Immediately get a plate and using potholders, put the plate upside down over the top of the coffee cake. Invert and wait a minute as the hot syrup formed from the sugar/cinnamon drips down onto the coffee cake. Remove the pan and wash.

It's important to invert the coffee cake immediately. If you forget, heat it up for 3 - 5 minutes in the oven and try it.



  1. sorry, forgot to take pictures when I made it.


  2. I made this coffee cake. It turned out wonderfully! My daughter took pictures. I will forward one to you.