Cherry Cheese Loaves

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This is a recipe we enjoy serving on Christmas morning. It also makes a wonderful treat for gift-giving.

2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 cups flour

FILLING:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 can cherry pie filling

GLAZE:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In saucepan, heat sour cream and butter to 110-115 degrees. Add to yeast mixture. Add sugar and eggs. Mix well. Gradually add flour. Mix well. Do not knead. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

In small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and extract until smooth; set aside. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; divide into four portions. Roll each into a 12x8" rectangle. Spread a fourth of the cream cheese mixture down the center of each rectangle. Spoon a fourth of the pie filling over the cream cheese. Fold dough lengthwise into thirds; pinch side seam and ends to seal. Place seam side down on greased baking sheets.

With sharp scissors, make several 1-in diagonal cuts near the center of each loaf. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Combine glace ingredients; drizzle over warm loaves. Cool on wire racks. Refrigerate. Makes 4 loaves.
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