Cinnamon Pecan Cream Cheese Braid

This recipe was entered in the 2006 North Carolina State Fair and judged to be a winner.


Details

Difficulty

Advanced

Yield

2 Loaves, Each Loaf Serves 16

Prep Time

25 minutes

Rise Time

1 hour, 45 minutes

Bake Time

20 to 25 minutes

Ingredients


  • 1 (2-1/4 tsp.) envelope Fleischmann's® Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°F)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3/4 cup warm milk (100° to 110°F)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter OR margarine, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • Filling
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons caramel topping
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Directions


Combine yeast, water and 1 teaspoon honey in a large mixing bowl; let stand for 5 minutes.  Yeast mixture should be foamy. Stir in warm milk, salt, eggs, butter and 1/3 cup honey.  Add 3 cups flour; beat until well mixed.  Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Knead on a lightly floured surface for 8 to 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.  Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

For filling, combine cream cheese, brown sugar, caramel topping and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl.  Set aside.

Punch dough down.  Divide dough in half.  Roll each half into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Place each piece on a greased baking sheet. Spread filling down the middle third of the dough, lengthwise.  Sprinkle pecans over filling.  Brush sides of dough with 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Make 1-inch wide cuts on both sides of the dough up to the filling using a sharp knife or scissors.  Fold each cut section of dough over the filling to resemble a braid.  Cover and let rise 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool for 20 minutes on baking sheet.  Transfer to serving platter.

For glaze, combine powdered sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl.  Stir until smooth.  Add more milk to reach desired consistency, if needed.  Drizzle over warm braid.  Serve warm.