VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 3/4 cup whole 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 large eggs
- 1 large 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 zest
- 1 package (8 ounces) almond paste
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg white
- Confectioners' sugar
- In a large saucepan, combine 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 milk mixture, eggs and yolk. Gradually beat in 2 cups flour. Stir in raisins, cherries and orange zest. 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 down dough; divide into 12 portions. Shape each into a 6x4-in. oval. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
- For filling, crumble almond paste in a small bowl; stir in sugar and egg white until smooth. Divide filling into 12 portions; roll each into a 5-in. log. Flatten slightly; place off-center on each oval. Fold dough over filling; pinch edges to seal. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Melt remaining butter; brush over each loaf. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 12 mini loaves.
Originally published as Cherry Almond Mini Loaves in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1998, p46