A yummy, new tradition for the Winter Solstice. This has the perfect amount of sweetness and can be modified to suit a vegan/dairy-free diet by using egg substitute and vegan butter. This recipe is a “keeper”, for sure.
Yule Dessert Wreath
Yule Dessert Wreath with Cranberries and Pecans
For the wreath:
- 1 packet dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water, about 105-110 degrees F
- 1/2 cup warm whole milk (or any other non dairy milk), about 105-110 degrees F
- 4 tablespoons organic cane sugar (or regular granulated sugar)
- 4 tablespoons organic butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder (or cardamom seeds ground with mortar and pestle)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (I use Meyer lemons)
- 2 cups AP white flour
- 1 1/2 cups AP wheat flour
For the filling:
- 1 cup dried cranberries soaked in 1/2 cup bourbon (pack the berries down in the liquid)
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/3 cup AP wheat flour
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water and milk. Dissolve the yeast in the mixture and let it foam up for 5-10 minutes. Blend in the sugar, butter, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, eggs and lemon peel. Stir in the AP white flour and mix until incorporated. Add remaining AP wheat flour ½ cup at a time until you have a soft, workable dough.
- Knead dough on a floured work surface until smooth, about 5-6 minutes. Add more flour if needed to prevent sticking. Place dough ball in a large, oiled mixing bowl and cover with towel. Let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 90 minutes.
- Drain the dried fruit from the bourbon. In a small bowl, combine the drained fruit with remaining filling ingredients. Mix together. Cover and set aside.
- When dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured board, kneading for a few minutes. Roll the dough into a 9×30-inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough to within 1 inch of the edges. Starting along a long side, tightly roll up the dough, pinching edge against loaf to seal. With a sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise. Turn each half so the cut side is facing up, and then twist the halves around each other, like a loose braid, keeping cut sides up. (This helps keeps the yummy filling inside.)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or generously grease baking sheet). Gently, transfer the rope to the baking sheet and shape into a circle and pinch the ends together to seal. Let it rise, uncovered, in a warm place for 30-45 minutes. Near the end of rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until browned. Cool completely before drizzling icing over top.
Before going into the oven