Whenever there's a bake sale, I make these braids. They're so eye-catching that most of the loaves get snapped up by the people working the sale! —Connie Dahmer, Marion, Illinois
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°), dvided
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold butter, cubed
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Add eggs and remaining water; mix well. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Beat into yeast mixture (do not knead). Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- For filling, in a small bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Stir in pecans and cinnamon; set aside.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide into four portions. Roll each into a 12-in. x 9-in. x rectangle on a greased baking sheet. Spread filling lengthwise down center third of each rectangle.
- One each long side, cut 3/4-in.-wide strips to the center to within 1/2 in. of the filling. Starting at one end, fold alternately strips at an angle across filling. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour (dough will not double).
- Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before removing from pans to wire racks. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over cooled braids. Yield: 4 loaves.
Originally published as Cinnamon Pecan Braids in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2001, p160
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