Watching The Fin waddle all over Moomskers’ house. Catching up with all my great peeps in D.C. when I wasn’t sitting in traffic getting honked or middle-fingered at. (oh yes I did just end a sentence with a preposition) Being stuck in the middle seat on an oversold United flight, only to find that my aisle seatmate was a tall, hot, two-dog owning, roofing contractor from Reno who chatted me up the whole flight and then asked me for my card. These were some of the highlights of Christmas Week 2009.
But perhaps THE highlight of the week was the Famous Moomskers’ Christmas Bread. Moomskers – a phenomenal cook and baker — makes this bread every Christmas. And even when The Zadge is launching a full frontal attack on the Gelationous Muffin Top (yes, I even tried to join Weight Watchers during my stay at Moomskers’ — they REJECTED ME!), she indulges in a daily slice (ok, sometimes two) of this deliciousio confection!!!
This is all that was left of three loaves, after 2 days! Trust me, this stuff rocks! Here’s the original Moomskers Recipe:
Basic Sweet Dough:
1 pkg. dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
½ cup (1 stick) margarine [Zadge note: personally, I'd use butter!]
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 cup milk, scalded
1 egg, slightly beaten
4 ½ to 5 cups flour (at least 5, sifted)
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add margarine, sugar and salt to scalded milk;
Cool to lukewarm. Stir in egg and yeast. Add 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. (By hand with a wooden mixing spoon.) Add enough of remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto lightly floured board (I use my countertop) and knead (about 3-5 minutes) until dough is smooth and does not stick to board. Place in buttered bowl and brush top with melted butter. Cover. Set in warm place and allow to rise until double in bulk. (about 1 ½ –2 hours) Punch down and let rise again.
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) margarine or butter (I always use margarine)
1 ½ cups pecans, finely chopped
Cream butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla.
Divide dough in half and roll each into a 9” x 18” rectangle. Spread with butter filling and sprinkle chopped pecans (reserve ½ cup for top, later.)
Cut each rectangle into thirds, lengthwise. Roll each strip lengthwise, sealing edges well. (They never seal all the way.) Braid the three strips together and shape into a wreath about 8’’ in diameter to form one small coffee cake. Place on buttered baking sheet. Let rise again for ½ hour. Bake 20-25 minutes in 375 degree oven.
(Watch carefully..it gets golden brown fairly quickly.) Repeat with other dough.
Decorate with Orange Snow Icing and remaining pecans.
Orange Snow Icing:
1 cup confectioners sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. orange juice
Mix and dribble over coffeecake. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.