Holiday Tree Bread

Serving 15 people

70 min


  • active yeast 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • brown sugar 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • butter 5 teaspoons cold butter
  • candied cherries Candied red and/or green cherries
  • confectioners' sugar 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • egg 2 teaspoons beaten egg
  • eggs 2 eggs, beaten
  • flour 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • milk 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • nuts 3/4 cup chopped nuts
  • salt Pinch salt
  • vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • water 2/3 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
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How to make it

  1. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Beat in eggs, butter, brown sugar, salt and 1-1/2 cups flour until smooth.
  2. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a bowl, cut butter into brown sugar until crumbly.
  4. Add nuts, egg, cinnamon and vanilla; stir well. Set aside. Punch dough down.
  5. Roll to 3/8-in. thickness; let stand for 5 minutes.
  6. Cut out 15 circles with a 3-in. round cutter.
  7. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Shape dough around filling to form a ball; pinch to seal. Line a baking sheet with foil; grease the foil. To form a tree, place one ball seam side down in the center near the top of the baking sheet.
  8. Place two balls 1/4 in. apart in the second row. Repeat with remaining balls, adding one to each row until the tree has five rows. For trunk, shape dough scraps into a rectangle and center under the last row. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  9. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
  10. Combine confectioners' sugar, vanilla, salt and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over tree, forming garland. Decorate with cherries.