Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 min + rising time
Cook Time: 30 min
Night Before Christmas Coffee Cake
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, softened
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°F.)
One .25-ounce package active dryyeast dissolved in 3 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°F.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter
1/2 cup nuts or maraschino cherries, candied red or green cherries
1. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter with an electric mixer. Mix in eggs, milk, dissolved yeast in water, and vanilla. Stir together flour and salt in a medium bowl; add to wet mixture and beat until incorporated. Set bowl aside and let dough rise until double in size (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours).
2. Prepare topping: Combine sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and nuts (you can use the cherries for a festive look if you don't care for nuts).
3. Punch dough down and spread into greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle topping on top.
4. Place pan in a cold oven and cover with a clean tea towel. Let it sit overnight in the cold oven to rise. You can turn on the oven light to add a little bit of heat to the oven.
5. The next morning, remove the tea towel (don't forget this step!!), turn oven to 350°F. and bake for 1/2 hour. Take out and serve warm.
*This makes one large coffee cake, but you may also opt to split the dough in half and prepare two round pans instead.