Friday, April 23, 2010

Blackberry Jam Almond Braid

When I think about a sweet pastry for breakfast, I usually think of a yeast product, but my mind has been changed forever.  I was visiting Kathleen's blog, Gonna Want Seconds, and she had posted this recipe from Willow Bird Baking on her Make Soon List.  Well, naturally, the minute I sat that tempting photo I had to click on the link and see what it was all about.

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)

Dough Ingredients
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

Icing Ingredients
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.  


  1. Dough with cream cheese! wow...can't wait to try it. I love blackberry filling.

  2. What a lovely treat for breakfast! I just wish I was your neighbour Katy. You're amazing!

  3. I can't believe this is yeast free! How awesome!

    i love the jam filling...I'm thinking raspberry...or strawberry rhubarb?

  4. This looks so good Katy..can I invite myself for breakfast?

  5. very pretty and I love the combo of blackberry jam and almonds!

  6. Beautiful. This looks so wonderful and such a pretty little plate.

  7. This looks delicious, I ♥ almonds! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  8. Look at that click,who will say no to this delish breakfast, not me,feel like grabbing and finishing it rite now...awesome katy

  9. that's gorgeous! i'd have a hard time only eating one piece.

  10. How nice to have a quick breakfast pastry recipe that doesn't involve hours of raising. It sounds wonderful.

  11. Katy, your braid turned out just gorgeous!!

  12. Looks great Katy. I love blackberry jam. We have mulberrys growing outside and other berries as well. Thanks for sharing. It looks so delicious, I could almost taste it. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  13. That looks YUMMY, Katy. I love blackberry and almonds.....what a treat! You had me when you mentioned puff pastry...LOVE that stuff!

  14. Looks delicious and Katy you have a way of describing everything so that it sounds so good :-) Yum!

  15. Hola Katy, this osunds absolutely wonderful, i mean Jam is something i love at breakfast and here u have a yeasty puffy flaky bread,which im sure to love.
    Guess the cream cheese does to it what it does to rugelach,jus saying.
    Next week i should get some yeast,yeah good yeast aint an easy find here:-(((
    And mus say again,wonderful to have back and yeah ur really sweet and kind dear:-)))
    and honestly so want u to have all the awards too:-)
    cheers and super weekend to u.

  16. I love blackberries and this looks like an amazing way to start any morning! :)

  17. My only words to describe this is "Absolutely Yummy " I must secretly confess my weakness is sweet treats such as this one. This has peaked my curiosity and now I am wondering if this pastry could be made using pecan pie filling (prepared ) or perhaps a peach pie filling.I figured if anyone could do it that person would be you.Once baked and still warm from the oven one could splurge and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.This is definitely more than just a breakfast treat. Oh my goodness I can invision it at this very moment. Sounds super yummy,but is it possible? Being southern as I am pecan and peach are no doubt my favorites. My secret rendezous to the frig for a midnight snack,wouldnt this be heaven,but sadly I must say I must refrain, then again maybe not.

  18. That is such a delicious looking braid! I love those.

  19. Thank you all for your nice comments...

    @ lovely you stopped by and leave such a sweet comment. I am thrilled to meet you.

    Yummm... still my heart...I see see no reason why you couldn't use any kind of filling, provided it wasn't too runny, because it will tend to run out the ends. Even the jam spills, sticking a bit to the pan. I haven't made a pecan pie in years and years as Ole Sweetie-Pi has a nut sensitivity and I can't (shouldn't!) eat a whole pie by myself so I don't remember what the filling consistency is. Peach jam is a terrific idea, and now that you have me thinking bout it, I want that! Fresh peaches may be a little too juicy?? Maybe just use the pastry to make a rustic tart, but you won't have the braided effect.

    Next time I'd use parchment paper to line the cookie sheet.

  20. Oh my!! This link is going on my Recipes to Try list too!!!!!!

  21. I am making this tonight!! It looks fantastic. Glad I stumbled upon your blog =)

  22. Drool, drool, drool. Looks so yummy.

  23. Uhh, YEA! I can see why this is on the must make list. Double yum is all I can say!

  24. oh Katie! This looks scrumptious! Yes, I agree the mascarpone would be so yummy too! Great photos!

  25. This looks amazing, Katie. I am working on treats for breakfasts, other than muffins and eggs. I am not a cereal eater. This would be a wicked one.


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