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Christmas Trees
Dough:
7/8 c Buttermilk
1 Egg
3 c All-purpose flour
1 tsp Salt
4 tbs Butter or margarine
1/4 c Sugar
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Icing:
1 c Powdered sugar
1 tbs Milk or eggnog; up to 1.5 Tbs
1/2 tsp Vanilla
Green food coloring

Cinnamon red hot candies


Place dough ingredients in bread pan, select Dough setting, and press Start.

When the dough has risen long enough, the machine will beep. Turn off bread machine, remove bread pan, and turn out dough onto a lightly floured countertop or cutting board. Gently roll and stretch dough into an 18-inch rope. Grease a large baking sheet(s). With a sharp knife, divide the dough into 17 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place it on the greased baking sheet in the shape of a Christmas tree, spaced about a half-inch apart; 5 balls for the bottom roll, 4 balls for the next row, 3 balls for the next row, 2 balls for the next row, and 1 ball at the top. Combine the remaining 2 balls into 1 large ball, gently roll it into a thick rope and shape it into an "S" to form the tree trunk. VARIATION: This recipe makes one large Christmas tree coffee cake. To create 2, 4, or 6 smaller trees, simply divide the dough into 2, 4, or 6 pieces initially and then follow the directions for dividing up the dough and shaping each tree.

Cover and let rise in a warm oven for 30 to 45 minutes until doubled. (Hint: To warm oven slightly, turn oven on Warm setting for 1 minute, then turn it off, and place covered dough in oven to rise. Remove from oven to preheat.) Remove baking sheet(s) from oven. Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a cake rack.

When the coffee cake(s) is cooled, in a small bowl, combine the icing ingredients, adding enough liquid to make the icing thin enough to spread over the coffee cake. Spread each roll with icing, then decorate with cinnamon red hot candies.
Recipe featured in Bread Daily on 12/24/01.