I am a complete sucker for anything almond flavored. Almond lattes, almond cakes, almond liqueur, you name it and I don’t hesitate to welcome it into my kitchen. I usually bake something almond flavored once a month or so, because I have a problem. I hope you enjoy this recipe for an almond pastry braid, since I need to share my addiction with others!
I suppose the name braid is a bit of a misnomer… you really just overlap each side. But calling it a braid just sounds pretty, right?
This style of pastry can seem intimidating when you first look over a recipe, but once you make one, you will realize how simple they are to make and how beautiful they really are!
This whole recipe comes together quite quickly considering you are making the dough and filling from scratch. All told this only took about 1 hour from start to finish!
Oh and the serving boarding I have it on is from here if you are interested in it.
The recipe for this pastry is below, I hope you enjoy!
- 8 tablespoons butter (113 grams), at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 egg
- 7 ounces almond paste, frozen until firm and then grated with cheese grater
- 1 cup sliced almonds, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- Sliced almonds for topping
- For the filling, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale yellow (I used a stand mixer). Mix in the salt and almond extract. Beat in the egg until just combined. Stir in the almond paste flakes and about 1 cup of the almonds. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- For the dough, using a food processor, mix the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cream cheese and butter into the flour mixture and pulse to cut the fat into the flour. Add the milk and almond extract and blend until it’s just comes together into a loose dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead lightly for 4-5 turns (make sure not to overwork the dough).
- Lightly flour the top of the dough and roll it out to a 12 x 14 rectangle. Measure and mark the dough lengthwise into thirds. Spread the filling evenly down the middle third.
- To assemble the braid, make diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals on each of the sides. Do not cut into the center filling area. Fold strips, first one from one side and then one from the other side in an alternating pattern, over the filling. Transfer your braid to a parchment lined baking sheet (you can also place the dough onto a baking sheet prior to filling and assembling).
- Brush the pastry braid with the egg wash mixture. Bake in the 425F oven for 18 - 22 minutes, until the braid is golden on top and the filling has set.
- After allowing the braid to cool for around 30 minutes, whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk. Drizzle over the top of the braid. Top with sliced almonds and enjoy!