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Apricot Easter BraidsHappy Easter!

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Pretty braided apricot breads use dried apricots. Recipe makes three Apricot Easter Braids so you'll have plenty for company.

Recipe Ingredients

2-1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1-1/2 cup water, divided
1-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
5-1/2 to 6 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 packages (1/4-ounce each) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs, beaten

1 cup confectioners sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe Directions

Braided Bread

In a saucepan, bring apricots and 1/2-cup water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until water is absorbed and fruit is tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a food processor; add brown sugar. Cover and process until smooth.

In a mixing bowl, combine 2-cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat butter and remaining water to 120 to 130-degrees. Add dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about six to eight minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Punch dough down; divide into thirds. On greased baking sheets, roll out each portion into a 12-inch by 8-inch rectangle. On each long side, cut 1-inch wide strips about 2-inches into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Pinch ends to seal. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake at 375-degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over braids.

Nutrition Information

Recipe makes 3 Apricot Easter Braids.

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Easter Lore

Easter Bunny and Eggs

The first Easter baskets were made to look like bird's nests. The tradition was brought to North American shores by German families in the 1700s. In place of baskets, children set out their caps or bonnets, filled with straw, and were delighted to find colored, hard-cooked eggs nestled inside them in the morning.