This is a recipe I made probably 20 years ago and still remember fondly. It is from the Silver Palette Cookbook that was popular back then. I followed it which two changes. I used almond paste chopped up instead of dates for one of the cakes. I also used all butter instead of the shortening and butter they have in the recipe. I also think 1/2 cup of lemon juice was too strong. I won’t use that much next time. I have these stored in my freezer and will take them out during the holidays when all my family is here. It makes a lot but tastes great reheated and is fun to have something so rich and fancy later without all the work.
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk (105° to 115°F)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening
2 whole eggs
1 egg, separated
1 pound sweet butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups shelled pecans, coarsely chopped
3 cups coarsely chopped dates
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons warm honey
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm milk in a small bowl. Stir in granulated sugar and let stand for 10 minutes.
Sift flour and salt together. Cut in vegetable shortening until mixture resembles rolled oats. Stir in milk and yeast mixture. Beat the whole eggs and the egg yolk together and stir gently but thoroughly into the dough. Cover with a towel and set aside to rise until tripled, about 3 hours.
Grease 3 jelly-roll pans, 9×13-inches. Divide risen dough into thirds, and roll out 1 piece of dough thinly into a rectangle about 3 times the size of a jelly-roll pan. Slide a pan under the center third of the dough.
Set aside one third of the softened butter. Divide remaining butter into thirds and spread half of one portion over the center portion of the dough on the pan. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1/3 cup of the chopped pecans and 1/2 cup of he chopped dates evenly over the buttered center section of dough. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Fold one side of the dough over the center section. Again spread with softened butter and sprinkle with the same amounts of brown sugar, pecans and dates. Fold the final third of the dough over the center section and set aside for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Repeat with remaining dough and ingredients.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Mix together the reserved butter, 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, the reserved egg white and the warmed honey. Cut 3 deep decorative slits in the risen coffeecakes, being careful not to cut through to the bottom layer. Spread the honey mixture evenly over the tops of the cakes.
Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed, brown and firm. Cool slightly.
Mix together remaining confectioners’ sugar and the lemon juice and drizzle over warm coffeecakes. To serve, cut into narrow strips and serve warm.
Coffeecake can be wrapped in foil and frozen. Defrost and warm slightly in the foil before serving.