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Frosted Caramel Nut Braid

It's become a Christmas-morning tradition for my husband, me and our two young children to much on this scrumptious bread with its nutty filling while opening gifts. Since I make it ahead, I can also relax and enjoy the festivities.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 25 min.
  • Makes
    1 loaf


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons water
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans


  • In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, eggs, sugar, butter, salt and 2 cups four; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft but sticky dough. Do not knead. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. Beat 25 strokes with a spoon; turn onto a well-floured surface. Roll into a 16x12-in. rectangle. Combine filling ingredients with a fork; spread evenly over the dough. Cut dough lengthwise into three strips. Roll up jelly-roll style, beginning at a long end; pinch edges and ends to seal. Place three rolls diagonally, seam side down, on a foil-lined 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Braid ropes together gently (do not stretch); seal ends. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool slightly on wire rack. For frosting, heat butter in a saucepan over low heat until golden brown; cool slightly. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough water to make a spreadable consistency. Frost top of braid; immediately sprinkle with pecans.

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