As you can see, I’m not at all skilled in the art of food photography, but I can assure you that my aunt Catherine’s Cranberry Danish Coffeecake recipe is the most delicious such item you will ever eat. We traditionally eat this coffeecake for breakfast Christmas morning, but it would also be nice for an afternoon tea or a luncheon. It’s not half bad as a midnight snack either.
The cake also looks pretty sliced, because it has a cream cheese layer and a cranberry/almond layer under the twisted top. I’d highly recommend it!
Cranberry Danish Coffeecake
1. Mix 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (one packet) yeast in a bowl (I use the bowl from my mixer because I use the mixer to make the dough), set aside.
2. Mix 1/3 cup shortening, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup milk in a small saucepan and heat to 125 degrees (steaming, but not boiling).
3. Pour the shortening mix into the flour mix. Stir together.
4. Add one egg and beat for two minutes.
5. Stir in 1.5 to 2 cups flour until it makes a nice dough. Remove dough from mixer and wash mixer so you can do step 6.
6. Blend 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 Tablespoons of flour, and 1 egg yolk (reserve white for later) until smooth.
7. In another bowl, combine one 16 ounce can of whole berry cranberry sauce and 1 teaspoon almond extract.
8. Grease two 9 inch round pans. Divide dough in half and roll each half into 15 inch circles. Fold rolled dough into quarters and open out into pan with edges handing over the side of the pan. Top each with half of the cream cheese filling followed by half of the cranberry mixture. Then, with scissors, cut slits in the dough at 1 inch intervals around the pan, cutting from the outside edge to 1 inch inside of pan edge. Take each piece of dough and twist while pulling up toward center of pan.
9. Beat the egg white you saved from step 6 until it’s foamy and brush it over the dough. Sprinkle each pan with 1/4 cup sliced almonds followed by 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar. Set aside and let rise until doubled in size.
10. Bake cakes at 375 degrees 30-35 minutes until golden brown.