Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cheese Braid


I apologize for being such a lousy blog host lately. Anyone coming here looking for something to cook or bake in the last few weeks has likely been disappointed. I have a huge backlog of recipes to post, and I'm going to try to get them all down in the next week.

Starting with yesterday (and working backward) I would like to talk about these Cheese Braids. I'm a nut for Cheese Danish; I am weak to their power whenever I am around pastries. My children feel the same. I often make these pseudo pastries, but this year decided to go with a bread instead. It was delicious, and since the bread makes four loaves, I sent some home with my mom and brothers on Christmas Eve. I made it Christmas Eve morning and we are still eating it the day after Christmas -- it's just as good leftover. The recipe came from
Southern Living magazine. I have a few comments in italics.

By the way, the term braid here is not used correctly (it's not a braid), but don't let that stop you.

Cheese Braids

1 (8-ounce) container sour cream (I used light)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1 t. salt
2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water (105° to 115°)
2 large eggs, beaten
4 c. all-purpose flour
Cream Cheese Filling (below)
Powdered Sugar Glaze (below)

Heat first 4 ingredients in a saucepan, stirring occasionally, until butter melts (I did this in the microwave). Cool to 105° to 115°.

Combine yeast and warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream mixture and eggs; gradually stir in flour (dough will be soft). Cover and chill at least 8 hours (I let it rise for an hour at room temp and then chilled it for 2-3 hours).

Divide dough into fourths. Turn out each portion onto a heavily floured surface, and knead 4 or 5 times.

Roll each portion into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle, and spread each rectangle with one-fourth of Cream Cheese Filling, leaving a 1-inch border around edges. Carefully roll up, starting at a long side; press seam, and fold ends under to seal. Place, seam side down, on lightly greased baking sheets. Cut 6 equally spaced Xs across top of each loaf; cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. Drizzle warm loaves with Powdered Sugar Glaze (Braids may be frozen -- glaze after thawing.)

Cream Cheese Filling

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat all ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.

Powdered Sugar Glaze

2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 T. milk
1/2 t. vanilla


1 comment:

Noelle said...

this recipe looks so delicious- I'm going to try it- Love your blog!