Buttery pastry meets chocolate-almond filling in this delicious traditional treat. Its circular shape symbolizes eternal life in Christ
Chocolate-Cinnamon Ring with Toasted Almonds
Active time: 30 min. Total time: 21⁄2 hrs. Serves: 12
For dough: Makes 2 lbs. 3⁄4 cup milk 1⁄2 cup sugar, divided 1 (1⁄4 oz.) pkg. quick-rise yeast 6 Tbs. butter, at room temp. 3 large eggs 2 tsp. vanilla extract 33⁄4 cups flour, divided 1 tsp. salt For filling: 1 cup (6 oz.) finely chopped chocolate 1⁄2 cup finely chopped almonds 1⁄2 cup cinnamon sugar 4 Tbs. butter-canola spread, at room temp. 1 large egg, beaten 2 Tbs. pearl or sparkling sugar 2 Tbs. sliced almonds
Microwave milk 30 sec. Stir in 1 tsp. sugar and yeast. Cover; let sit 5 min. or until foam forms on top. Using electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, eggs, vanilla extract and remaining sugar 1 min. Beat in 1 cup flour. Reduce speed to low and add yeast mixture. Beat 1 min. Add remaining flour and salt; beat 4 min. Place in greased bowl; cover and let sit in warm place 30 min.
In bowl, combine chocolate, almonds and cinnamon sugar. Gently deflate dough. On floured surface, roll out dough to 12" x 18"; spread with butter. Sprinkle with chocolate mixture. Starting at long end, roll into a log. Pinch to seal. Transfer to parchment-lined cookie sheet. Shape into a ring, pinching ends together. With scissors, make 12 even cuts three-quarters of the way through dough. Cover and let sit 20 min.
Heat oven to 325ºF. Brush egg over dough. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 35 min. or until thermometer inserted in center reads 180ºF, covering with foil after 15 min. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.