My 3 Monsters: Swedish Tea Ring

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Swedish Tea Ring

Swedish Tea Ring Recipe at /
One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of Christmas Eve is my mom's "famous" Swedish Tea Rings.  What's that you say?  You've never heard of them?  Well, they may not be World Famous, but if you were ever lucky enough to be my mom's friend, you looked forward to one these every December.  At some point in the days leading up to Christmas when I was a kid, I could always count on every surface in our kitchen and dining room being covered with these deliciously sweet cinnamon wreaths.  After a long day {or two} of baking we would help mom load them all in the car and spend an evening dropping them off to everyone we knew.  Those are some of my happiest childhood memories.

So, what exactly is Swedish Tea Ring?  They're basically cinnamon rolls.  Not the super ooey-gooey, get it all over your face, Cinnabon-style cinnamon rolls.  They're more like the sophisticated older cousin of the Cinnabon.  You know -- the one who went away for study abroad and came back all grown up and fancy.  No?  Ok.  Weird metaphors aside, these are some of the prettiest, most impressive-looking cinnamon rolls you can make.  Your friends will be jealous.  But guys, they're delicious, too, and soooo easy to make you won't believe it! 

Swedish Tea Ring

2 C. milk
1 stick {1/2C.} butter
4 eggs
1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. yeast, dissolved in 1/2 C. warm water
8 C. flour

1 C. melted butter
sugar, to taste
cinnamon, to taste
cinnamon chips, nuts & raisins {optional}

1 C, powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. milk 

Melt butter and warm the milk together in a pan over medium heat.  Do not allow to boil.  Allow to cool a little until you can comfortably touch it.  In the bowl of a mixer, beat eggs with paddle blade.  Add sugar and salt. Mix well.  Add yeast and milk mixture to egg mixture and mix until incorporated.  Add 4 cups of flour and mix well.  Switch to the dough hook and gradually add the last 4 cups of flour.  The dough will be a little bit sticky.  Do not add too much flour.  

Cover and let raise until double in bulk.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half.  Each recipe will make 2 rings.  Roll out each piece of dough about 1/4 inch thick.

Swedish Tea Ring Recipe at /
Pour 1/2 C. of melted butter on each piece of rolled out dough and spread to edges.  Sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar and other fillings until it looks good.  There are no rules here.  the more you put, the gooey-er it will turn out.  We made our first ring with white sugar, cinnamon, and cinnamon chips.

Swedish Tea Ring Recipe at /
The second ring got brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans -- my favorite combo!

Swedish Tea Ring Recipe at /
Roll the dough up into one long roll, then transfer it to a baking pan, laying it in a circle.  I like to overlap the ends a little since they end up a little smaller than the center of the roll.  This keeps the ring more symmetrical.

Swedish Tea Ring Recipe at /
Using a pair of kitchen scissors, snip the dough 3/4 of the way through in roughly 1 inch increments.  Twist the slices of dough to lay flat, alternating sides to form the pretty wreath shape.  Cover with a light towel and allow to raise again until double.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top and dough is cooked through.  Turn immediately out onto a clean cookie sheet.  If you will be delivering your Tea Rings to friends, cover the bottom of the ring in foil, then flip right-side-up again.  Crunch the edges of foil around the ring to form a "tray" and allow to cool.  Otherwise, just flip it right-side-up onto a platter for serving.

Swedish Tea Ring Recipe at /
Once the rings have cooled, mix up the glaze and drizzle over top of the rings.  Garnish with maraschino cherries and enjoy!

It just wouldn't be Christmas to me without leaving a slice of Swedish Tea Ring and a cup of egg nog out for Santa at bedtime.  I've always been convinced that's why he leaves us the best presents.  Try it at your house and see if it works for you, too!


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