ShareThis Page

Culinary Corner: This sweet cake is perfect for any holiday celebration

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Here's a fruit/coffee cake to bake that will be the pride of all the junior chefs. It has both a festive flavor and it looks like a giant candy cane.

These make a great gift when you go visiting or caroling. The recipe will yield some for gifts and for home.

Candy Cane Coffee Cake

(makes three loaves)

2 packages (1/4ounce each)active dry yeast

1/2cup warm water (110-115 degrees)

2 cups warm sour cream (110-115 degrees)

6 tablespoons butter, divided 1/3cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons salt

53/4to 61/4cups all-purpose flour

11/2cups finely chopped dried apricots

11/2cups finely choppedmaraschino cherries

2 cups confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons cold water

additional cherries, halved

In a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add the sour cream, 4 tablespoons butter, sugar, eggs, salt and 2 cups of flour, and then beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Punch the dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and then divide into thirds. Roll each portion into a 14-inch-by-7-inch rectangle on a greased baking sheet.

Combine apricots and cherries and spoon the mixture down the center of the rectangle.

On each long side, cut 34 inch wide strips about 2 inches into the center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling.

Pinch the ends to seal. Curve the top to make the top of the candy cane.

Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Melt the remaining butter and then brush over the warm coffee cakes.

Combine confectioners' sugar and cold water until smooth, and then drizzle over top. Garnish with cherries.

• • •

Here's a simple cheesecake that will be a great dessert after a family or company holiday get together.

The almond crust along with the chocolate drizzle really go well with the pistachio filling.

Pistachio Cheesecake

(makes 12 to 14 servings)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2cup ground almonds

1/2cup cold butter or margarine

6 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese softened

1 can, (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant pistachio pudding mix

chocolate syrup

whipped cream and chopped pistachios for garnish

In a small bowl, combine the flour and almonds and cut in the butter until crumbly.

Press onto the bottom and 1- 14 inches up the sides of a greased 10-inch springform pan.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, milk and pudding mixes until smooth. Add the eggs and beat on low speed just until combined.

Pour the mixture over crust.

Place the pan on a baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until the center is almost set.

Remove and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Carefully run a knife around edge of the pan to loosen. Cool for one hour longer and then refrigerate overnight.

To serve, remove the sides of the pan. Slice the cheesecake and drizzle the slices with chocolate syrup.

Garnish with whipped cream and pistachios.

As always, enjoy!

David Kelly is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media. He has been sharing recipes and cooking tips in Culinary Corner for 21 years.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.