Braided Cherry Dessert

I recently attended a Rhodes Blogger Demo Night.  I was excited to be an attendee.  One of the items that was made for us was this dessert.  The demo instructor wasn’t planning on baking it for us because she already had so many other goodies for us to try.  With a little convincing a few of the bloggers got her to bake it anyway.  I’m SO glad they did!  One bite and I knew this is what I wanted to make for my next step-by-step recipe!  It was so delicious.  This is my first experience with a braid, so forgive me because it isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination.  It tastes amazing and that’s [mostly] all that matters.  Give it a try, you will love it.  Perfect for a holiday get together, you will be a hit if you serve it at your next party.

2 loaves Rhodes™ Bread, thawed and risen (I used 12 dinner rolls)
3 ounces package cream cheese
1-tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 21-oz can cherry pie filling
1 egg, beaten

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
cherries, if desired

For the braid you will need: 2 loaves Rhodes™ Bread, thawed and risen -or- 12 Rhodes Dinner rolls, thawed thawed to room temperature, cream cheese, butter, softened, lemon juice, sugar, cherry pie filling, and an egg.  For the icing you will need: powdered sugar, more butter, milk, vanilla or almond extract, and cherries, if desired.
 Spray board or counter with non-stick cooking spray. Either place loaves end to end and roll together, or combine the dinner rolls.  I used the rolls, so I combined them together.
Form dough into a 12×30-inch rectangle. With a clean ruler, gently mark a 4-inch space down the center. Then mark dough on either side of center into 1-1/2 inch strips horizontally.
 Mix cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and sugar together.  If you want, take a little taste, it’s delicious!
 Spread filling down the center of braid.  I added a little to each edge as well.  I cut my braid before topping it, but you can wait until after.  Either one works.
 Top mixture with cherry pie filling. Oooohhh, it’s so pretty!
 Begin braid by folding top row toward filling. Then fold strips left over right, right over left. Fold bottom end towards filling and finish by stretching last strip and tucking under.
 Using both hands, carefully lift braid onto a large baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Brush with egg and cover with sprayed plastic wrap. Let rise until double.
 Bake at 350°F 25-30 minutes. Or longer if dough isn’t done.  If top is browning too quickly, cover with foil for remainder of baking period.  Remove from pan and let cool. Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over braid.
Enjoy!  It’s soooo yummy!

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