Apricot-Cream Cheese Braid

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell

All the good stuff from a cream cheese Danish is rolled into this bread, which was a favorite in our Test Kitchens. The finished braids can be covered and refrigerated for a couple of days or frozen for up to a month. The extra loaves are great gifts; wrap in plastic and cinch with a bow. Feel free to substitute any kind of fruit preserves.

Yield: 4 loaves, 10 slices per loaf (serving size: 1 slice)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 145
  • Calories from fat: 31%
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g
  • Protein: 3.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 21.6g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg
  • Iron: 0.8mg
  • Sodium: 102mg
  • Calcium: 26mg

Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton light sour cream
  • 2 packages dry yeast (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Filling:
  • 2/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • Glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. To prepare dough, combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream mixture and 2 eggs. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Gradually stir flour into sour cream mixture (dough will be soft and sticky). Cover dough; chill 8 hours or overnight.
  2. To prepare filling, combine preserves and next 4 ingredients (preserves through 1 egg) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.
  3. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Turn each portion out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 or 5 times. Roll each portion into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Spread one-fourth of filling over each portion, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Starting at a long side, carefully roll up each portion jelly roll fashion; pinch seam and ends to seal.
  4. Place 2 loaves on each of 2 baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Cut 4 (1/4-inch-deep) "X"s in top of each loaf with scissors. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 25 minutes or until doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°.
  6. Place 1 baking sheet in oven (cover remaining loaves to keep from drying). Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining loaves. Cool loaves slightly.
  7. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle warm loaves with glaze.
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