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Fruit and Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Great for Mother's Day Brunch!

Little Chef

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
2 3/4 cup flour
1 envelope (or 1 T) yeast

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup preserves (raspberry or boysenberry work well)

1 T sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 egg beaten

small amount vegetable or canola oil

Serves 12

Combine water, butter, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Heat or cool the mixture as necessary so that it is very warm (120°F to 130°F). In a large bowl or in a mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix 1 cup flour and yeast. Add the very warm water mixture and mix until blended. Mix in the egg. Add remaining flour by 1/2 cup fulls until you have a soft dough. Beat, or knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 to 10 minutes). Add more flour, if necessary, to keep dough from sticking.

Lightly coat a large bowl with vegetable or canola oil. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft-free are until the dough has doubled in size. This should take about an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350°F and grease an 8" X10" (or larger) baking pan.

Beat together cream cheese, egg and sugar until smooth and creamy.

When dough has doubled, punch it down and use a floured rolling pin on a floured surface to roll in into a rectangle, roughly the size of your baking sheet. Place dough on greased baking sheet. With a sharp knife, score the dough into thirds, lengthwise. Spread the preserves evenly over the center third of the dough. Use a sharp knife to cut strips at 1" intervals along the two outside thirds. Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture over the preserves. Starting at one end, alternately cross the cut strips over the center (see photos). Tuck in strips at bottom.

Brush top of coffee cake with beaten egg. Sprinkle sugar and almonds over top. Cover coffee cake and let rise again, until almost doubled (about 30 minutes).

Bake in a 350°F oven for about 40 - 45 minutes or until golden brown and the filling has set. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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