Friday, December 7, 2012

Eggnog and Cranberry Christmas Braid

Welcome to day #5 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. Today’s theme for Christmas Week is “Christmas Pies and Pastries”. Make sure you visit all the participating bloggers today to see what special dish they whipped up for you.

For the grand finale of our Christmas week, I thought it was fitting that I make a braid for you. Not just any kind of braid---a Christmas Braid! This one is made out of Eggnog and Cranberries. It's a theme with me, I know, yet so perfect for Christmas, methinks. But wait!! There is more! We have a giveaway for you, too! I will explain more about that after I post the recipe. You are going to be so excited (I think I've used more exclamation points in this paragraph than in all of my posts combined...)!!  Let's get on with it, shall we?

Eggnog and Cranberry Christmas Braid
Printable Recipe

3/4 eggnog, warmed to 110-115 degrees (bathwater warm)
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup all purpose flour

all of the sponge
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 – 5 cups Flour
egg wash for brushing braid*

Cream cheese filling
2/3 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup eggnog
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup prepared cranberry relish

For such a rich dough we need lots of yeast power...that's why we use a tablespoon (or 2 packets).

For the sponge, combine the eggnog and yeast in a medium bowl. Stir in the flour. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sponge, sour cream, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and 4 1/2 cups of the flour. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and beat the mixture until the dough is rough and shaggy. Switch the paddle for the dough hook and knead the dough at medium speed for about 6 minutes, or until smooth, adding additional flour if needed.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free area for 60 to 90 minutes or until about double in size.

While the dough is rising, prepare the cream cheese filling. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, eggnog, and flour. Set aside.

Gently deflate the dough and divide in two. Cover one of the halves with plastic wrap and set aside. Roll the remaining dough into a 10"X15" rectangle (do this over parchment paper or a silpat for easy transfer on to the baking sheet).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture down the center third of the dough. Top with 1/2 cup of the cranberry sauce.

Cut 1" crosswise strips down the sides of the rectangle. Starting from one end, bring one of the dough strips across the filling diagonally. Repeat on the other side, crisscrossing the dough strips. Continue down the rest of the braid, alternating strips to form the loaf. Repeat the rolling, filling and braiding with the second braid. Set both braids aside, cover lightly, and allow to rise for 45 to 60 minutes. Brush each loaf gently with an egg wash (one egg beaten with a pinch of salt). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire racks. Drizzle with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting, if desired.

For frosting, combine 2 tablespoons softened butter, 2 tablespoons softened cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 2-3 tablespoons eggnog. Beat until smooth, adding additional eggnog if needed.

Simply Scrumptious.

And now for the giveaway news that I'm sure you have been anxiously awaiting!

Freund Container & Supply has generously donated $100 gift certificates for each #ChristmasWeek blogger to give away! Freund Container & Supply is the largest distributor of glass bottles, containers and wholesale packaging supplies online. Freund offers over 5000 items in stock every day, 98% same day shipping and low-price guarantees. Take a look at Freund’s wide selection of jars, tins, bottles and vials for all your crafting and food related needs!

This giveaway is for one $100 gift certificate to Freund Container & Supply. Gift certificate will expire on March 31, 2013. Gift certificate is a one-time use certificate and must be used in its entirety; any leftover monies on the gift certificate will be forfeited. This giveaway is open to both US and Canadian residents. However, it should be noted that due to current International shipping rates, any Canadian winners will pay higher shipping costs for orders. The giveaway will run from today, December 7th, 2012, through Wednesday, December 12th, 2012.

Please visit Fruend Container & Supply for inspiration!  Then, click on the Rafflecopter login to add your information privately. :)

Freund Container & Supply is also offering all #ChristmasWeek blog readers 10% off purchases from now through March 31, 2013. Simply enter code JINGLEME10 to receive your discount!

***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by Freund Container & Supply. #ChristmasWeek bloggers have not been compensated as part of this giveaway.***

If you'd like more chances to win a $100 gift certificate from Freund, please make sure you visit today's blog posts from each of the other #ChristmasWeek bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check 'em all out!

Christmas Apple Pie from Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic
Pumpkin Cheesecake Fried Pies from Jen of Juanita's Cocina
Chocolate Angel Pie from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Pie from Anuradha of Baker Street
Cheese Danish Pie from Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Bakewell Tarts from Isabelle of Crumb
Grasshopper Pie from Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
Cranberry Fritters from Erin of The Spiffy Cookie
Cinnamon Pecan Crescent Rolls from Ramona of Curry and Comfort
Banketstaaf (Dutch Christmas Log) from Heather of Girlichef
Eggnog and Cranberry Christmas Braid from Cathy of The Dutch Baker's Daughter
Raspberry Galette from Chung-Ah of Damn Delicious


  1. Not entering the giveaway, but I wanted to say thank you for participating and happy day #5! And I'm so glad you ended with one of your famous braids!

  2. I really like the honey pots! They would be a great holiday gift, filled with homemade hot fudge sauce or salted caramel sauce!

  3. I would love the glass syrup bottles to gift my homeade apple cider syrup!

  4. Holy moly this is amazing. I've never done a braid like this before. I need to try this asap. It's freaking stunning. I am so honoured you joined us this week. It's been great getting to know you. I think that's the best thing about blogging, you make friends with a shared passion. xx

  5. I would love using the Amber Round Glass Bottles for making vanilla extract. Great for presents too! And this recipe looks so good!

  6. I'm Anne, but I don't have a blog or other account so I have to post this anonymously. I'd leave my email address here, but I really don't want to leave it publicly. I'm logged in to the Rafflecopter via Facebook, but I don't see a FB option for commenting.

    Anyway, I'm totally in love with Freund's Honey Pots!

    1. Anne, the neat thing about Rafflecopter is that we can see your email and it isn't made public. :) You are entered--no worries! :)

  7. What a gorgeous, gorgeous braid...this sounds absolutely amazing! I love the eggnog and cranberry combination.

  8. I love this braid, almost too pretty to eat. As for the bottles, I loke the little blue ones for making vanilla, and the smaller jugs for homemade kahlua.

  9. Oh, my gosh, this dough with the eggnog sounds fantastic! And such a stunning braid, too. So fun celebrating #ChristmasWeek with you, Cathy!

  10. I'd get Clear French Square Glass Bottles

  11. Jill Hartley -- missjill0521@yahoo.comDecember 8, 2012 at 5:48 AM

    What an amazing braid! You truly are a talent! I'd get the most use out of the canning jars :-) Planning a big garden next year!!

  12. Gorgeous braid. Love the idea of the eggnog flavored dough with the cranberries - very festive!

  13. I would choose glass containers to use in my pantry or my refrigerator.

  14. I would pick up some canning jars and lids and jars to make homemade vanilla extract.

  15. OOH, your braid looks so yummy! I love any of the cobalt blue bottles. ;o)

  16. That braid looks like the perfect Christmas breakfast.
    It's been so fun baking with you this week. Now if we only could manage to get all of that lovely food in one place to eat!!

  17. Hi!
    Honestly I really could use the wire shelving unit kits they offer or one of their scales. That is what I would probly get. If I do decide to get containers it would be to put fudge in and I would choose the Tamper-Evident Snap-Lock Plastic Containers - Rectangle - PP :)

  18. I would order the Decorative Holiday Tins – Santa By The Fireplace and fill it with Christmas Cookies for friends
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  19. Beautiful braid my dear!!! and so festive. What a find! I'd never heard of Freund before. I love their vinegar bottles. I commented on their fanpage...tweeted it and pinned it. Am I in?

  20. I would order the Decorative Holiday Tins – Santa By The Fireplace!

  21. Food-grade buckets and gamma lids.

    Would loved to have pinned this, but Pinterest is giving me an error message about not being able to pin non-html pages.

  22. Your braid looks delicious! I would love the syrup containers.

  23. I would get the tins for cookies!!

  24. I would love the 4 and 8ounce square tin containers with windows for spices and 1/2 gallon canning jars for storing bulk foods in that we either grow or buy. Good for storing advacaate in too!