Pineapple Cream Cheese Braid

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This is by far the most requested dessert at holidays or anytime of the year!  When I make this, I can't make enough. It starts out with a simple yeast dough, filled with a sweetened cream cheese and topped off with crushed pineapple.  Braid it all together to make a beautiful presentation and a delicious dessert! 


Ingredients are as follows:

Dough: 
1/2 C warm water
1 package instant yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg
1/4 C butter, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 C flour

Filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 C sugar
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray nonstick cooking spray onto two cookie sheets. This recipe yields two braids.

In a small bowl mix together the water, yeast and sugar; set aside.


In a separate bowl whisk the egg.


Add in the yeast mixture and butter. Mix together for two minutes.                 (The mixture may be clumpy, but that won't be a problem.)


Add salt and flour, knead for five minutes; set aside to rest.


In another bowl cream together the cream cheese and sugar; set aside.


On a floured surface roll one half of the dough out into a rectangle.


Place dough onto prepared cookie sheet then spread half of the cream cheese mixture down the center of the dough.


Take half of the pineapple and place it on top of the cream cheese.


On the sides of the dough, cut horizontal slits about two inches apart.


Starting at the bottom of the dough, flip the end in then fold over alternating pieces of the dough.


Continue until you reach the top of the dough then tuck in the top piece.


Brush a little water on top of the dough then sprinkle on some sugar.


Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.                          (Repeat the process with the rest of the dough and filling.)


Slice, serve and enjoy!

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