Plenty of good things come in these little loaves featuring golden raisins and cherries. There's a surprise— the creamy almond filling— in every scrumptious bite.
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup butter, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups golden raisins
- 1-1/3 cups candied cherry halves
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1 can (8 ounces) almond paste
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg white
- Confectioners' sugar
- In a large saucepan, combine the milk, 1/2 cup butter, sugar and salt. Cook over low heat until butter is melted; stir until smooth. Cool to lukewarm (110°-115°).
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in the milk mixture, eggs and yolk. Gradually beat in 2 cups flour. Stir in the
- raisins, cherries and orange peel. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
- Place in a large greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Punch dough down; divide into 12 portions. Shape each into a 6-in. x 4-in. oval. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Melt remaining butter and brush over dough.
- For filling, in a small bowl, crumble almond paste; stir in sugar and egg white until smooth. Divide filling into 12 portions; roll each into a 5-in. log. Flatten slightly and place off-center on each oval. Fold dough over filling; press edges to seal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Brush each loaf with butter. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 12 mini loaves.
Originally published as Cherry Almond Mini Loaves in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1998, p46
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