YIELD Makes 1 bread ring

What's Christmas without warm, delicious cookies? Check out these tips for making Christmas cookies.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons warm water (105° to 115°F)
1 package active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted, cooled
3 tablespoons milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2‑1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
Cherry-Nut Filling
Almond Icing

PREPARATION:

  1. In large bowl, combine water, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar; stir to dissolve yeast. Let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, eggs, butter, milk, salt and cardamom; mix well. Stir in 1-1/2 cups flour until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic, adding as much remaining flour as needed to prevent sticking. Shape dough into ball. Place in large, lightly greased bowl; turn dough once to grease surface. Cover with waxed paper; let rise in warm place (85°F) until doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare Cherry-Nut Filling.
  2. Punch dough down. Roll out dough on floured surface into 24X9-inch rectangle. Sprinkle Cherry-Nut Filling over dough to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up dough, jelly-roll style, beginning on 24-inch side; pinch seam to seal. Using sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise; turn each half cut side up. Carefully twist halves together, keeping cut sides up to expose filling. Place dough on greased cookie sheet; shape into a ring. Pinch ends together to seal. Cover; let stand in warm place until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake in preheated 375°F oven 20 minutes or until evenly browned. Remove bread from cookie sheet to wire rack; cool slightly. Prepare Almond Icing; drizzle over warm bread. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Almond Icing
In small bowl, combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons milk and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract; blend until smooth.
Cherry-Nut Filling
In medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup chopped nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts or pecans), 1/4 cup each all-purpose flour, chopped candied red cherries, chopped candied green cherries and softened butter or margarine, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract; mix well.
This recipe appears in: Christmas
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