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Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 35 mins
A VERY special treat. This recipe has lots of steps, not particularly difficult, but requires some patience and technique to get these looking perfect for gift giving. The taste is PHENOMENAL. You will not be disappointed. A dear friend gave me this recipe. I make several batches each year as gifts, and the last batch, I HIDE two large pastries as our traditional Christmas breakfast. Enjoy!
- 1 cup butter
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons yeast
- 2 cups warm milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 -2 egg
- 6 cups flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄4 cup butter, very soft, beat with mixer but not melted
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1⁄2 cup melted butter
- Read and Follow Carefully!
- Pastry: Place butter and sugar in 4-quart bowl, pour heated milk over fat.
- Let stand while yeast dissolves in 1/2 cup water and 1 tbs sugar.
- Stir and let stand for 5 minutes.
- When yeast is dissolved and bubbly, add eggs and beat well.
- Add yeast/egg mixture to cooled milk mixture.
- Add salt to flour in sifter and sift in to bowl of above ingredients.
- Beat with a spoon until all flour is added to make a soft dough.
- Let rise until double.
- Custard: Heat milk.
- Mix sugar, salt and flour together and stir into hot milk.
- Stir until thick, beat egg yolk and gradually add hot mixture TO YOLK until hot and then add back to original mixture.
- Cook 1 minute more.
- Let cool.
- Almond Filling: Beat all ingredients together with mixer.
- Crumb Mixture: Combine flour, sugar and walnuts; mix in the 1/2 cup butter until well mixed.
- Assembly: Divide dough into 3 portions, or, make up to 12 small pastries.
- Roll out to about 1/4 to 1/2 thick rectangles, long side perpendicular to you works best.
- Place fillings down center of rectangle in this order: Custard, almond filling, crumb mixture.
- Cut equal number of slits on both sides of rectangle, leaving the center 1/3 of dough intact with fillings.
- Braid the strips you just cut over the fillings.
- Place pastries in foil lined pans, brush with egg white beaten with 2 tbs water.
- Place halved maraschino cherries, like buttons, down the top and sprinkle with more crumb mixture.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 min for small pastries, 30 minutes for medium, and 35-40 minutes for large.
I made this tonight & all though it is very attractive, I probably won't make it again. With only 6 cups of flour, the dough was unmanagable. It was just goo. I ended up adding at least another 3 cups of flour just so that I could get it out of the bowl & rolled out. It was still a very soft dough. I would double the amount of almond filling. I thought that's what I would taste but I just get a hint of it. Also, is there a second rising after the braid is formed? Overall, it was too much dough and not enough filling.