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Cherry Cheese Braided Coffee Cake
Cherry pie filling with a cream cheese filling in a tender braided coffee cake.
1 coffee cake
1 hour, 20 to 30 minutes
30 to 40 minutes
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°F)
1 (2-1/4 tsp.) envelope Fleischmann's® Active Dry Yeast
4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter OR margarine, softened
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
Cream Cheese Filling
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
Toasted, sliced almonds
Combine water and yeast in large mixing bowl. Add 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, butter and eggs. Beat on low speed with electric mixer for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Continue adding flour, 1 cup at a time until soft dough forms.
Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 4 to 6 minutes). Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free place about 1 hour, until doubled.
Combine cherry pie filling, sugar and corn starch in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat while dough is rising. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Let boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool. Combine all ingredients for cream cheese filling with an electric mixer; set aside.
Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll one portion of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 15 x 9-inch rectangle. Transfer to a greased baking sheet. Spread cream cheese filling lengthwise down the center third of the dough. Top with half the cherry filling. On each long side, cut 1-inch strips 3 inches into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips on an angle across the filling. Seal ends. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise 20 to 30 minutes.
Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Cover with foil if top of coffee cake is getting too brown. Cool for 15 minutes; remove from baking pan. If desired, combine icing ingredients and drizzle over coffee cakes. Sprinkle with almonds if desired.