Thursday, December 16, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Sweets: Swedish Tea Ring

My dear friend, Gayleen from Alabama, gave me a Swedish Tea Ring for Christmas one year for our family to have on Christmas morning for breakfast.  We loved it so much that the following year, I asked her to teach me how to make one. Gayleen is no longer living, but the memory of her teaching me in her kitchen, along with our friendship, will always be remembered. Every year since, I make this traditional breakfast bread to have on Christmas morning. 

Swedish Tea Ring
(Printable Recipe)
For the dough:
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup scalded milk
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
4-3/4 cup flour

For the filling:
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 cups raisins
1 stick butter, softened

For the icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 tablespoons milk, adding more to thin if needed

For the garnish:
Whole pecans or sliced almonds
Candied cherries

Dissolve yeast in water. Mix together milk, butter, sugar and salt. Add to yeast mixture along with the eggs. Gradually add the flour until a smooth, but slightly sticky dough forms. Let dough rise until doubled. Divide dough in half. Flour counter tops and roll each dough half into a large rectangle shape. Spread half the butter on each. Mix together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle evenly over each dough rectangle. Distribute the raisins between each. Roll each dough rectangle up lengthwise. Connect each end of the dough to make a circle, pinching together to seal. Using kitchen shears, snip each ring about six times, only cutting about halfway through. Gently push each snipped part open to expose the inside slightly. Let rise 30-60 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 13 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before glazing.

For the icing, beat together the powdered sugar and butter together until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and milk until desired consistency is reached.

To assemble the tea ring, drizzle the icing over the cooled tea ring. Decorate with nuts and candied cherries. Makes 2 tea rings.

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