Cranberry Cheese Coffee Cakes
3 ½ – 4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package rapid rise yeast
1/3 cup shortening
½ cup water
½ cup milk
1 can (16 oz) whole cranberry sauce
Crushed pineapple *
Cornstarch – added slowly, just enough to thicken
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel or 1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg white
½ cup sliced almonds, divided
¼ cup sugar, divided
Cream Cheese Filling
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 egg yolk
Mix 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and yeast in large bowl. Heat shortening, water and milk to 125-130 degrees (shortening may not be melted). Stir into flour mixture. Mix in egg, beat until smooth – about 2 minutes. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough that’s easy to handle. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth, 3-5 minutes. Cover and let rise 10 minutes.
Grease 2 round 9” cake pans. Mix cranberry sauce with lemon peel. Reserve. (I add some crushed pineapple that I’ve thickened the juice with some cornstarch* – and you could probably use pie filling instead of the cranberry sauce.) Divide dough into half. Roll each half into a 15” circle. Pat dough evenly into pan. Press into pan and allow dough to come up sides and hang over edge of pan. Spread ½ cream cheese mixture over dough in each pan. Top with ½ of fruit filling mixture. Make cuts in dough at 1” intervals to about ½” above the filling around the outside edge of dough. Twist strips and fold over sauce. Beat egg white until frothy and brush over dough. Sprinkle each with ¼ cup almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar. (At this point, coffee cakes can be covered and refrigerated – up to 24 hours; rising may be slightly longer.) Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake until golden brown 30-35 minutes. Cool slightly, remove from pans.
- I drain the pineapple (usually a small can for this recipe) – Over low heat, thicken juice and cornstarch. Mix with pineapple and combine with cranberry sauce mixture.
- I make these in disposable pans – and give them to my friends on Christmas Eve with rising and baking instructions. They are wonderful – not as complicated to make as they look – and MUCH appreciated on Christmas morning!
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