This was a great to make. I really enjoyed it, though the meringue isn't my favorite it was still good. I halved the recipe since I knew I didn't need two of them. I also left out the chocolate (lent), and the nuts (boys), but I am sure they would have been excellent.
This is something that I could easily make the day before church and then serve at coffee hour.
FILLED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE
Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter
The recipe can easily be halved to make one round coffee cake
4 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 package active dried yeast
¾ cup whole milk
¼ cup water
½ cup unsalted butter-room temperature
2 large eggs-room temperature
3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
To make the dough:
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.
In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted. Let it sit until it is just warm to the touch or you will kill the yeast.
With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup flour and beat for 2 more minutes.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the 1 ½ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.
Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper. Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time (keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic), roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch from the edges. Sprinkle half of your filling of choice evenly over the meringue. Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.
Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.
Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings.
Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Brush tops with water then sprinkle on a bit of sugar
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.