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Raspberry Cream Cheese Braid

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This tasty braid is worthy for sale in a bakery, but easy to make at home. It's also a clever way to showcase the small batches of jams that may otherwise be forgotten on the refrigerator door; use up the gooseberry, blackberry, strawberry or loganberry jams, all with the same basic dough, filling, and technique.

At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
2 braids, about 16 servings

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Instructions

  1. To make the filling: In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, salt and vanilla.
  2. Mix in the ClearJel or flour, and the egg, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl thoroughly.
  3. Gently deflate the risen dough, and divide it in half.
  4. Roll each half into a 15" x 10" rectangle, and place them onto lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets.
  5. Spread half of the jam in a 2 1/2" wide swath, lengthwise, down the center of each dough rectangle, leaving a 1" border at the top and bottom.
  6. Top jam with half of the filling.
  7. Make 1 3/4" cuts every 3/4" down both long sides of the dough.
  8. Fold the ends over the filling, then pull the cut strips up and over, alternating sides.
  9. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough.
  10. Cover the braids and let them rise for 30 to 45 minutes, until they're puffy looking. If desired, brush with an egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water (this will make a darker, shinier crust), or spritz with water, then sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  12. Bake the braids for 32 to 36 minutes, until they're golden brown.
  13. Remove from the oven, and allow them to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
  14. Store, well-wrapped, for 2 days at room temperature, or freeze for up to a month.