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

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

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

  6. 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!

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

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

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

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

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

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

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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.

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


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