Christmas morning is one of my favourite mornings of the year. After the presents have been opened and everybody is basking in the glow of new toys, books and other diversions, I make pancakes for the kids and David puts on a pot of coffee. As much as I like making pancakes for the kiddos each December 25th they aren't my idea of the perfect Christmas morning breakfast. Last year I bought a stollen for the grown-ups but this year I really wanted something home-made. (Christmas morning seems to demand home-made.) While flipping through recipe books and scouring the Internet in the weeks leading up to Christmas I toyed with the idea of making stollen myself but something nagged at me that this wasn't the satisfying Christmas breakfast I was seeking. Then I found it. Or rather, we found it, as I had roped David into my quest: yeasted coffee cake with sweet cream cheese filling. Yes please!
This isn't a recipe for those who seek instant gratification (like me). There are a lot of steps, and there's waiting because yeast is involved (it's right there in the recipe title). Luckily David took several days off before Christmas so this was a team effort (and I kind of saddled him with the boring bits I didn't want to deal with). To make this coffee cake you first make the dough, then the sweet cheese filling. There is also a streusel to put together and an egg wash. (I forgot about the egg wash step and trust me, the cake ate just fine.) We started in the morning and by mid-afternoon had two very large cakes, which we baked then froze. I was amazed at how large the cakes were - amazed and, once I had a taste, delighted because we were going to be eating delicious coffee cake for most of the holidays. The cakes re-heated from the freezer very well. We paired ours with the Kona coffee I bought David for Christmas from Hawaii. This recipe is definitely going on my Christmas baking traditions list. It's from Cook's Illustrated, of course. I found it here.