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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Candy Cane Sweet Bread Braid

I borrowed Debbie Macomber's Christmas Cookbook from the library because it was a new cookbook. I don't know who she is but as I was looking for a picture of the cookbook cover to put on this blog, I realized that she is an author.

I decided to try two of the recipes in the book and this is one of them.

First mix warm water, yeast and flour. Let it stand for about 15 minutes. It started to foam like this.

In another bowl, I mixed butter, sour cream, egg, sugar and vanilla together. Then added the yeast mixture and flour.

I kneaded the dough until it formed a ball. The dough was quite soft.

I let it rise until it doubled in size.

Rolled dough out on floured surface

Then used a knife to make lengthwise indentation on dough.

While the dough was rising, I prepared the filling. I was shopping at Superstore (which I rarely do) and found Meyer lemons. They are suppose to have a different taste than regular lemons. Some recipes specify specifically for this type of lemons. This recipe didn't but I just bought it anyways. For the record, Meyer lemons did smell and taste slightly different than regular lemons; they are less tart.

Anyways back to the filling. I mixed sour cream, cream cheese, sugar and lemon.

I hand mixed with a wooden spoon this because I was too lazy to wash my hand mixer beaters. It worked out ok.

Going back to the main event, I spread the cream cheese filling along the middle section, leaving about 2cm space at the top and bottom of the dough.

Then I put a layer of raspberry jam on top of the cream cheese.

This was the interesting part. First I cut strips on the left and right sections. Make sure each side had the same number of strips. I Folded the top and bottom in and removed the dough from the four corners. I didn't want to waste the dough so I made a smaller version with jam and no cheese.

Both top and bottom folded in.

Next is cross left piece diagonal to the right side. Then the right piece to the left side. Continued doing this for all the pieces. Halfway in the instructions, it said to stretch the dough across. Darn, why wasn't it mentioned earlier?!?? So about 3/4 down, I started to stretch the pieces. It looked really nice!

Here's a completed one.

See the small one? That's from the corners. I had no more cheese left so it only has jam.

Egg washed and ready to bake.

It looked really nice after baking except the middle part where the dough was not stretched. It opened up but still impressive.

Here's a slice. You can see the cream cheese and raspberry jam in the middle.

Here's all the baking I made that Sunday.

Final Thoughts:

This was sooo good and fairly easy to make. It bakes really well and impressive looking. Definitely a thing to make at a potluck or party.

The bread part was really soft and fluffy. Just eating the bread part alone was nice.

But the filling was also delicious. Raspberry jam and cream cheese! The cream cheese was smooth. I wish the cream cheese taste was a little stronger but that's ok. Of course the raspberry jam fit perfectly.

I brought some to work and people thought it was store bought not homemade. The colour of the bread and texture was amazing. Very rich!!

I'm planning to make this again during the holidays. Yummy!!

The deceptive part of this recipe is the name. When I saw this recipe, I thought it would be a mint flavored treat but there was no candy cane. Rather, the candy cane is the shape of the bread, which I didn't make. I don't think I'll ever make it candy cane shape ever. It looks nice as is.

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