Cherry-Cheese Crescent Braid (Party size)

Cherry-Cheese Crescent Braid (Party size)
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Ingredients
  1. Braid
  2. 2
  3. cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  4. 1
  5. container (8 oz) cup pineapple cream cheese spread
  6. 1/4
  7. cup granulated sugar
  8. 2
  9. eggs, separated
  10. 1
  11. cup chopped red candied cherries
  12. 1
  13. tablespoon water
  14. 1
  15. tablespoon granulated sugar
  16. Glaze
  17. 2/3
  18. cup powdered sugar
  19. 1/2
  20. teaspoon almond extract
  21. 1
  22. to 2 teaspoons milk
  23. Garnish
  24. Red candied cherries, if desired
Instructions
  1. 1 Heat oven to 375┬░F. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough onto cookie sheet, forming 15x12-inch rectangle. Firmly press perforations to seal.
  2. 2 In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Beat in 2 egg yolks. Stir in chopped cherries. Spoon lengthwise down center of dough rectangle in 5-inch-wide strip. Cut 1-inch-wide strips on each side of cream cheese filling to within 1/2 inch of filling. Fold strips at an angle across filling mixture, alternating from side to side.
  3. 3 In small bowl, beat egg whites and water. Brush egg white mixture over dough. (Discard any remaining egg white mixture.) Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
  4. 4 Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; place on serving tray. Cool 5 minutes.
  5. 5 In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, almond extract and enough milk for desired glaze consistency. Drizzle glaze over warm braid. Garnish with candied cherries. Cool 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm. Store in refrigerator.
  6. Assemble braid up to 2 hours ahead. Don't brush with egg white or sprinkle with sugar; refrigerate loosely covered. When you're ready to bake it, brush with egg white, sprinkle with sugar and bake as directed, adding a couple more minutes, if necessary.
  7. For an elegant presentation, garnish the platter with stemmed maraschino cherries, kumquats and fresh mint.
  8. This recipe can be easily doubled when you have a large crowd to feed. Double the ingredients and place on a second cookie sheet. Bake as directed.
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