Cheese-Filled Almond Braid
Makes 24 servings (2 coffeecakes)
|Sweet Yeast Dough|
|2||packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened|
|2/3||cup granulated sugar|
|2||tablespoons all-purpose flour|
|1-1/2||teaspoons almond extract|
|1/4||cup sliced almonds|
|Additional granulated sugar (optional)|
|Powdered sugar (optional)|
- Prepare Sweet Yeast Dough; let rise as directed.
- Combine cream cheese, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, egg yolks, flour and almond extract in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.
- Grease 2 large baking sheets. Cut dough into halves. Roll out one half of dough into 12X9-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin. Carefully transfer dough to prepared baking sheet.
- Score dough lengthwise into 3 (3-inch-wide) sections with tip of sharp knife, taking care not to cut completely through dough.
- Spread half of cream cheese mixture on center section between score marks. Cut dough on outer sections into 1-inch-wide diagonal strips with scissors or sharp knife, cutting to within 1/2 inch of filling.
- Starting at 1 end, fold strips over filling, alternating from left and right, overlapping strips in center to create a braided pattern. Repeat with remaining dough and cream cheese mixture.
- Cover braids with towels; let rise in warm place about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine egg whites with 1 tablespoon water in small bowl. Brush braids with egg white mixture. Sprinkle almonds over braids. Sprinkle additional granulated sugar over almonds, if desired.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until braids are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, rotating baking sheets from top to bottom racks halfway through baking. Immediately remove from baking sheets; cool completely on wire racks. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Fruit-Filled Almond Braids
Prepare dough for Cheese-Filled Almond Braids as directed above except substitute 2 cans or jars (about 10 to 12 ounces each) prepared prune, apple, peach or pineapple pie & pastry filling for cream cheese filling mixture. (Use 1 can to fill each braid.)
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