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Holiday Braids

 Holiday Braids
Once you slice into one of these braids, it’ll disappear quickly. The cream cheese, brown sugar and fruit tucked inside the flaky crust is an unforgettable combination. You’ll be happy this recipe makes two loaves!—Sally Hook, Montgomery, Texas
24 ServingsPrep: 40 min. + rising Bake: 15 min.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 5 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • FILLING:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the eggs, butter,
  • sugar, orange peel, vanilla, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat on medium

2 of 2

Holiday Braids (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft
  • dough (dough will be sticky).
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about
  • 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Beat
  • in the egg, orange peel and cinnamon; set aside.
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. On greased
  • baking sheets, roll each portion into a 15-in. x 9-in. rectangle.
  • Spread filling down the center of each; sprinkle with pecans and
  • cranberries.
  • On each long side, cut 3/4-in.-wide strips about 2 in. into center.
  • Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across
  • filling. Pinch ends to seal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about
  • 45 minutes.
  • Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from
  • pans to wire racks. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over braids.
  • Serve warm. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).