Today make a gift for a special family, next door neighbor or someone who could use some pick e up. The Swedish tea ring was a customary gift that my grandmother would give to every family in our family tree as well as special friends during the holiday season.
Swedish Tea Ring
Swedish Tea Ring
1 cup chopped candied fruit
1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°), divided
1/4 cup shortening
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
Candied cherries, optional
In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast, 1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/4 cup warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine remaining water and sugar; stir until dissolved. Add yeast mixture, eggs, shortening, salt and 3 cups flour; mix until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 16-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Sprinkle filling over dough to within 1/2 in. of edge.
Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal. Place on greased baking sheets; pinch ends together to form a ring. With a scissors, cut from outside edge two-thirds of the way toward center of ring at 1-in. intervals. Separate strips lightly; twist to allow filling to show. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes. For icing, combine the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and milk; drizzle over tea rings while warm. Decorate with cherries if desired. Yield: 2 tea rings.