Oh me, oh-my-oh. One look and it was on my Make Soon List as well.
This looks as nice as anything you've seen from a bakery; tender, flaky crust (almost like a puff pastry, it's so flaky) and the flavor is just a bit tangy from the cream cheese, with the sweetness of the almond extract. And the filling is whatever jam or preserve you choose. I was thinking maybe even a little sweetened mascarpone with the jam. How good does that sound!
Think you don't have time to make this? With a food processor, this took little to no time to make. From beginning to end, this probably took me about an hour, and it will take even less time when I make it again because I won't have to stop and read the directions. We really liked this with blackberry jam as that's what I had on hand, but next time, I'm thinking maybe strawberry, or blueberry, or raspberry or.....
This is a keeper! Kathleen, thanks for sharing such a wonderful find. And many many thanks to Willow Bird Baking for posting her recipe so that we might all benefit and delight in this delectable treat.
Blackberry Jam Almond Braid(from Willow Bird Baking; see blog for a nice tutorial)
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced
3 ounces cream cheese, diced
1/2 cup milk, minus 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup your favorite preserves for filling
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds (optional)
Preheat oven to 425* F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the cream cheese and butter into the flour mixture and pulse to cut the fat into the flour (about 6 pulses). Add the milk and almond extract and blend into a loose dough.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently for 4-5 strokes. The dough will still look rough but that's okay, it's supposed to. Overworking the dough will make it tough and you will loose the flakiness.
Tear off two sheets of waxed paper and place the dough between the two sheets. Roll the dough to an 8"x12" rectangle.
Turn dough out onto a lightly greased baking sheet and remove the waxed paper.
Measure and mark the dough lengthwise into thirds. Spread preserves down the middle third of the dough, keeping it about ½ inch from the mark on both sides.
Make 2¾-inch slight diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals on each the long sides. Do not cut into the center jam-filled area. (I just used the width of my ruler to cut the strips.) Fold strips, first one from one side and then one from the other side in a rotating fashion, over the filling. It will now resemble a braid.
Bake in a 425*F oven for 12-15 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the top is lightly browned.
For the glaze, combine all glaze ingredients into a one cup measuring cup that has a pouring spout. Drizzle over the top of the braid, and add the almonds if you are using them. Serve warm.