Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Amazing Dessert I Always Make at Christmas

Take one bite and you will be like all the others:  you will be begging for the recipe. But you will never make it. No one ever does. It's too hard. And when I see you again, in October, when we are starting to talk about what to bring for Thanksgiving, you'll plead with me to make a loaf. Or two. Just for you. 

Cream Cheese Braid

  • (8-ounce) container sour cream 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • large eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour 
  1. Heat first 4 ingredients in a saucepan, stirring occasionally, until butter melts. Cool to 105° to 115°.
  2. 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.
  3. Divide dough into fourths. Turn out each portion onto a heavily floured surface, and knead 4 or 5 times.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. Drizzle warm loaves with Powdered Sugar Glaze.

Cream Cheese Filling

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

  • Beat all ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
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  1. I made Christmas loaf-one for us and one for my parents-my husband devoured ours. there is not a crumb left. This sounds good-but I must confess I would have to substitute the sour cream.

  2. When do I put in my order for next year? :) I can understand why everyone asks you to make it.

  3. Oh this does sound good. My kids would love it. Thanks for sharing this family tradition.

  4. Sounds fabulous!! I am going to try it!

  5. This sounds really good. It proves my theory that the simplest things are usually the best ones.

    You're invited for next Thanksgiving, obviously :-)

  6. Leave it to Southern Living to come up with a recipe like that! It sounds absolutely delicious, but yeast terrifies me ;-)

  7. I would definitely be begging for this year after year! Sounds similar to a cream cheese danish, which I love. Not sure if I'll make it, but it sure does sound good!

  8. Yes, I want. I will save the recipe just in case I ever feel like making it. But I sure would eat it anytime.

  9. This sounds amazing. I've always wanted to make a braid bread -- maybe next year!

  10. This looks & sounds *sooo* good. I normally make a cheesecake for my family every Christmas, but this seems like a good recipe if we ever decide to mix it up a year or two. In my opinion, you really can't go wrong with cream cheese.

  11. oh, yeast and I always have issues...

  12. I make a complicated recipe only at Christmas too: Maple Butter Twist, a family tradition for years. Last year I experimented with an additional cream cheese and apricot preserves twist, but didn't repeat it this year! You're's a lot of work!

  13. I have a recipe for Rugalach that's quite involved, but so delicious. I've given it to neighbors at Christmas and they all beg for more. :)

    This sounds delicious! I'm going to give it a try. Love me some cream cheese!

  14. Oh man, this sounds delicious. Do you think I could use a thawed frozen loaf of bread dough?

  15. Oh man, this sounds delicious. Do you think I could use a thawed frozen loaf of bread dough?

  16. That looks absolutely delicious; no wonder it's so popular.

  17. sounds good, but having made bread where you create a starter & feed it daily before you even start the process, is this harder? ps love baking, cooking etc.
    Best wishes for the coming year.

  18. It's not a difficult recipe; it's the three steps that puts people off, I think.

  19. Sounds delicious! I got a loaf of a cream-cheese bread as a gift from someone in Kansas this year (a local product there) which was probably very similar.

  20. It sounds great, but I won't be making it because I live with the anti-cream cheese family. :)


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