For Thanksgiving and Christmas we like to do pastry breakfasts that will hold us over until it’s time for the feast. Sometimes it would be cinnamon rolls or if one of us had been selling butter braids for a school fundraiser it would make an appearance. My favorites were always the ones that combined fruit and cream cheese. I’m a sucker for cream cheese, a fruit and sweet bread. How could you not be, right?
I was having a class held on Friday nights and all day Saturday. We provided breakfast for the class so we could bond and make it through the day until the lunch break. So when it came to my turn, I wanted my classmates to be well fed and decided to hunt up a cream cheese danish.
This recipe is a bit time consuming. The dough needs to rise twice – so be sure you have at least 3 hours on hand to pull this one together. It is delicious and well worth the effort. Since it is a yeast recipe, temperature is important. You don’t want to accidentally kill your yeast by making the milk bath too warm. If you don’t have a thermometer to get an exact temperature, use your finger. It should be the same as a warm bath.
Recipe from Carmel Moments
Apple Cream Cheese Braid
2-3 Medium-large apples, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Granulated sugar
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz Cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Granulated sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Lemon juice
1 & 1/2 cup Powdered sugar
5 & 1/2 tsp Milk
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
Heat butter, sugar, water and milk to 120F.
Combine 2 cups flour, salt and yeast in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center. Add butter mixture. Mix in additional 1/2 cup flour. Knead on low speed for about 7-8 minutes scraping down the bowl as needed. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a spoon to combine – sculpt those arms!). Add egg and additional 1/2 cup of flour while kneading, if necessary. Dough should be smooth after the 8 minutes.
Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for about an hour or until dough has doubled.
Meanwhile, over low heat combine apples, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Heat until apples are softened, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In small bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix until smooth.
Back to the dough! After the dough has doubled in size, roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle about 12×10.
Spread cream cheese filling down the center. Arrange apple mixture on top. Using a pizza cutter, cut diagonally from end of dough towards center in 1 inch strips. Do on both sides.
Braid the dough by pulling strips across alternating sides. Continue until braid is complete. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise for 30-40 minutes.
Preheat over to 350F. Bake braid for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Drizzle over braid. Serve warm or allow to cool and then serve.