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Monday, April 18, 2011

Cream Cheese Strudel

I absolutely love cream cheese danishes. I can't walk past a bakery and see the danishes or strudels without loading them into my cart. More often then not I end up throwing it away after one bite. Strudels are definitely NOT created equal. When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. I added it to my list on baking day and hoped it would turn out, I had company coming the next day and this would make the perfect breakfast. The next morning Hubby and I got up early and stole a bite before we served it to our guests. There was a moment of silence and then both of us looked at each other wide eyed. This was AMAZING. I will never be able to eat another cheap bakery strudel again. This is officially my favorite breakfast food. Ever.

Cream Cheese Strudel

4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast (dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water)
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water (doesn't matter the temperature)
1/2 cup butter
2 large eggs

2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup crushed walnuts

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of the flours, the sugar, salt and yeast. In a sauce pan combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted. Gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beat on low until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup flour and beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn onto a floured surface and knead in additional flour until your dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double.

Combine cream cheese, butter powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy. Set aside.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a floured surface roll out 1 piece of dough into a rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or knife lightly score the rectangle into thirds. Now make diagonal slices to make strips on the two outer sections (about every half inch) carefully cut away the very top strips and the very bottom strips (to allow room to close the top and bottom). Spread half of the filling into the center of the dough. Start folding the edges-- bring the top and bottom folds over and criss cross the edges starting left to right. *Repeat with the second set of dough

Let rise for 30 additional minutes. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

In a saucepan combine butter and water, let butter melt and add powdered sugar, almond extract and nuts. When powdered sugar is dissolved drizzle over studels. Serve immediately or store in fridge until serving.


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