Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mom's Easter Almond Ring

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Every family celebrates the holidays differently.  In my family, way back before I can remember, my relatives divided the holidays up so everyone has their own holiday and no one has the responsibility of hosting more than one.  This is essential considering the enormous family we have and the amount of time it takes to prepare for every gathering!

Easter is and always has been my mom's holiday.  While she is known for many recipes in our family, her Easter Almond Ring is my personal favorite and a necessity on the dessert table every year.

While this recipe may seem long, it's a perfect dessert for a special occasion.  The lengthy process consists of minor steps here and there and two rising periods that allow you to multitask at the same time.  While it may seem long and intimidating, it's not as difficult as it looks!

If you like almond, you'll love this cake.  It's full of almond flavor with a great sweet icing to provide that extra bit of sweetness to the bread like consistency.  I would compare it to a danish, perfect with a cup of coffee.  Everyone always looks forward to taking it home to enjoy for breakfast the next morning!

Hope you enjoy my Mom's Easter Almond Ring as much as me and my family have over the years!


Recipe Tips
  • When working with dough, it is important to create a warm environment to allow the yeast to rise.  I do that by preheating my oven to 400 degrees and placing the dough on top of the stove in a bowl wrapped in a dish towel. My mom on the other hand, doesn't preheat her oven and only wraps it tightly in two thick dish towels.  There are many different methods that work!
  •  The picture I took of my dough on the oven has a dish towel placed on top.  I ended up wrapping it around my bowl of dough to trap the warmth inside of the bowl better.


Begin with combining yeast and warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer:


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Stir until your yeast dissolves:

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Then in a small sauce pan, bring your milk to scalding over medium heat.  Set it aside until it cools completely:


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Add your milk:


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Sugar:


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Butter:


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Egg:


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Cardamom:


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Salt:

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And two cups of flour to your mixing bowl:


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Mix on medium speed with your paddle attachment until combined:

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Then add the rest of your flour:


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Mix until combined and your dough appears thickened:


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  Once mixed, switch your paddle attachment with the dough hook and mix on high speed for 5 minutes to knead your dough.  Your mixer will shake, but don't worry- that's normal!  You can also knead by hand if you prefer:

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Once it's done kneading, place your dough in a greased large mixing bowl:

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Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.Cover your mixing bowl with a dish cloth and place it on the warmest part of your stove.  In order for your dough to rise, you need to create a warm environment.  A helpful trick to create this is by warming your stove and wrapping your bowl in a dish cloth:


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Let your dough rise for about 2 hours until it doubles in size:


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Meanwhile, prepare your almond filling by combining your almond paste, brown sugar, and butter in the bowl of your electric mixer:


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Mix on medium until smooth, about 5 minutes:

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Once your dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a15x9 inch rectangle:

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Drop your almond filling onto the dough:


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Spread it evenly along the entire surface:

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Then roll your dough into a tight roll, beginning at the 15 inch side:


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Once rolled, pinch the seams together:

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Stretch the roll to even out the thickness and place the pinched seams facing down:


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Bring the two ends together:

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And pinch them to create a solid ring.  Your seam will not look perfect, but don't worry about it- you'll hide the imperfections with your glaze later!

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Transfer your ring to a greased cookie sheet. Then using a pair of sharp scissors, make cuts 2/3 of the way through your ring in 1 inch intervals:


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Rotate your slits on its side to lay flat across one another:

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Drape your ring with plastic wrap, cover it with a dish towel and return it to the top of your preheated oven.  Lower your oven temperature to 350 degrees and allow your dough to rise for another 40 minutes.  Don't worry about how much it rises, it will be minimal:

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Remove the dish towel and plastic wrap and bake your ring uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until a deep golden color.  Set your ring aside and allow to cool completely. Then transfer to your serving dish:

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Meanwhile, mix together your glaze by combining your confectioners sugar, vanilla, and water in a bowl.  Mix until combined.  If mixture is too thick, Add 1/2 teaspoon at a time of water until you reach your desired consistency.

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Chop your cherries into little pieces and dry them thoroughly with a paper towel:


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Once your bread is cooled, spread your glaze along the surface and sides of the ring:

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Place your pecans along the top spreading them out evenly about every 3 slits:

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Then sprinkle your cherries along the top:


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Serve and enjoy!

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Mom's Easter Almond Ring
Betty Crocker's International Cookbook
Makes: 1 Almond Ring
Prep Time: 45 minutes (not including two rise periods)
Bake Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients
Cake:
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 deg-115 deg)
3/4 lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Almond Filling:
1/2 cup almond paste
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, finely chopped and dried



Directions

Begin with combining yeast and warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Stir until your yeast dissolves.  Then in a small sauce pan, bring your milk to scalding over medium heat.  Set it aside until it cools completely.  Add your milk, sugar, butter, egg, cardamom, salt, and two cups of flour to your mixing bowl.  Mix on medium speed with your paddle attachment until combined.  Then add the rest of your flour and mix until combined and your dough appears thickened.

Once mixed, switch your paddle attachment with the dough hook and mix on high speed for 5 minutes to knead your dough.  Your mixer will shake, but don't worry- that's normal!  You can also knead by hand if you prefer.

Once it's done kneading, place your dough in a greased large mixing bowl.  Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cover your mixing bowl with a dish cloth and place it on the warmest part of your stove.  In order for your dough to rise, you need to create a warm environment.  A helpful trick to create this is by warming your stove and wrapping your bowl in a dish cloth.  Let your dough rise for about 2 hours until it doubles in size.

Meanwhile, prepare your almond filling by combining your almond paste, brown sugar, and butter in the bowl of your electric mixer.  Mix on medium until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Once your dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a15x9 inch rectangle.  Drop your almond filling onto the dough and spread it evenly along the entire surface.  Then roll your dough into a tight roll, beginning at the 15 inch side.  Once rolled, pinch the seams together.  Stretch the roll to even out the thickness and place the pinched seams facing down. Bring the two ends together and pinch them to create a solid ring.  Your seam will not look perfect, but don't worry about it- you'll hide the imperfections with your glaze later!

Transfer your ring to a greased cookie sheet. Then using a pair of sharp scissors, make cuts 2/3 of the way through your ring in 1 inch intervals.  Rotate your slits on its side to lay flat across one another.  Drape your ring with plastic wrap, cover it with a dish towel and return it to the top of your preheated oven.  Lower your oven temperature to 350 degrees and allow your dough to rise for another 40 minutes.  Don't worry about how much it rises, it will be minimal.

Remove the dish towel and plastic wrap and bake your ring uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until a deep golden color.  Set your ring aside and allow to cool completely. Then transfer to your serving dish.  

Meanwhile, mix together your glaze by combining your confectioners sugar, vanilla, and water in a bowl.  Mix until combined.  If mixture is too thick, Add 1/2 teaspoon at a time of water until you reach your desired consistency.  Chop your cherries into little pieces and dry them thoroughly with a paper towel.  Once your bread is cooled, spread your glaze along the surface and sides of the ring.  Place your pecans along the top spreading them out evenly about every 3 slits.  Then sprinkle your cherries along the top.  Serve and enjoy!
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21 comments:

  1. I love this! By the first pic I thought you used a bundt pan... but I love the technique here!! Great job Chelsea!

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  2. Oh wow! Not only does that filling look delicious, your dough is just gorgeous - so smooth and perfectly-kneaded. Brava, and thanks for sharing this family recipe!

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  3. Thank you for sharing!! What a gorgeous ring - definitely one to pass on in the family. Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

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  4. I love this! I also thought you used a bundt pan when I first saw it. Beautiful!

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  5. Chelsea, What a stunner! I love the contrast of color from the cake to the glaze, cherries and nuts. My first smile came with the measurement of cardamom...thank you for the recipe!

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  6. What perfection. Absolutely stunning. Can just imagine the lovely flavours in there: all my favs. I'm a bit frustrated as just hunking off a piece is what I want to do right now ;-)

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  7. Beautiful!! I'm all about the almond flavor, and I have wanted to try a ring like this for some time... they look so decadent and tasty! :)

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  8. This looks beautiful! Perfect presentation.

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  9. I'm crazy about mom recipes, of course. They are time-tested and family approved. Such a gorgeous yeast pastry.

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  10. Wow looks well worth the effort

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  11. delicious colourful tea rings
    regards
    torviewtoronto

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  12. This looks beautiful! Love anything with almonds too!

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  13. I think my grandmother makes something like this, but I've never gotten the recipe from her.. I think I might have to try this one even though Easter has come and gone- it just looks too good!

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  14. Perfect and beautiful! Love your step by step method, so easy to follow and a must try recipe...

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  15. This is so beautiful and sounds so delicious. Love the almond filling. Holidays are the time to whip up our special delicacies no matter how difficult or time consuming it is to make them. Making them is part of the celebration, isn't it?

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  16. This is beautiful! I hope you had a wonderful Easter, and everyone enjoys this amazing treat.

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  17. This is BEAUTIFUL! What a wonderful job you did making this. The filling sounds wonderful! Hope you had a great Easter!

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  18. I don't think I've ever seen a more perfect dough. This is indeed worthy of a grand celebration. And yes, I do love almond - and yes, it is worth all the steps.

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  19. Such a beautiful ring. You did an amazing job with this.

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  20. I love this; what a beautiful dessert. I love those family recipes that are made every holiday.

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